Mental Health: Legitimate Concern or Scapegoat?

Is mental health really to blame? 

By Henry Adeleye on August 28, 2015 


Another week, another tragedy. Sadly, it's becoming more and more routine to see the influences of violence rear their ugly heads. As we give our condolences to the families and loved ones affected by tragedy, fixing the issues at hand always come to the forefront. With a current presidential candidate and reality TV star (or is it the other way around?) ascribing the recent upticks in violence to a mental health issue, one has to wonder whether this is a legitimate rationale or whether it's an easy out for heinous acts.  


Of course, we're all products of our environments, and certain environments can breed dangerous states of mind. But where do we draw the line of rationalizing away bad behavior? If someone needs to seek help, whose job is it to ensure that they do? Even more so, if someone knows they need help and they don't seek it, should we count that against them?  Most of the time, we ask these questions after the fact when it's too late, but that doesn't stop the fact that these are questions that need to be asked. 


Indeed, there are many people who are battling psychological disorders and truly need help. Sometimes, however, there are people who have momentary lapses and let the evils of the world overcome them. Are we doing their victims a disservice by giving these individuals an alibi? The fear is that the mental health label will become like antibiotics, used so often that their effect has become null, leaving one less option for the people who really needed them. It's true that sometimes taking the medicine can cure something you didn't even know you had. The problem is, is this a good risk to take?