Anger, Violence and Mental Health

Is there a relationship between the way we treat each other and the continued violence in our schools and communities?  I am shocked by the shooting at Ft Hood and the recent stabbing at a school in Pennsylvania.  We hear that the soldier at Ft Hood was receiving mental health treatment, but no one anticipated his dramatic actions.


Photo by Reuiters

Spc. Ivan Lopez is pictured in the Sinai Peninsula during his service with the 295th Infantry of the Puerto Rico National Guard. Lopez is suspected of fatally shooting three people before killing himself at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas on April 2, 2014

A recent Slate Article by psychologist Dr. Laura L. Hayes, PhD, took a different approach to the violence around us.  The article emphasized the need to address the pervasive anger in our society. Dr. Hayes observed –

“Uncontrolled anger has become our No. 1 mental health issue. Though we have the understanding and the skills to treat the anger epidemic in this country, as a culture, we have been unwilling to accept the violence problem as one that belongs to each and every one of us. We have sought scapegoats in minority cultures, racial groups, and now the mentally ill. When we are ready to accept that the demon is within us all, we can begin to treat the cycle of anger and suffering.”

Can we all look around and treat people with more civility?  Can we encourage reconciling behaviors instead of confrontation?  What are your thoughts about reducing the anger in our world?

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Kaye Gooch

As a Project Specialist with Campaign Consultation, Inc. I primarily support our efforts to elevate the Social Innovation Fund and highlight its successes in improving communities across the country. I am passionate about advocating for the underserved in the healthcare system. I have worked with state governments in the areas of Medicaid training, adult protective services and services for persons with disabilities. Read more.

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