A lot of people have asked me my opinion, as a mental health professional, what can be done to prevent atrocities like we had this past week. This happens any time we have an atrocity, and then after a few weeks, the questions fade, nothing changes, and society goes on as usual. Until the next tragedy.
Here are a few thoughts I have. Nothing will change, as most of the mental health field is reactive rather than preventative. We have group homes, inpatient, outpatient, community mental health facilities, etc., all designed to deal with a problem or an issue after it happens. Our ability to act in a preventative manner is lacking.
Our field sucks at forecasting, despite our best efforts. In addition to a lack of focus on prevention, our inability to forecast probably has something to do with a lack of talent in the field. There isn’t a whole lot of economic incentive for the smarties of the world to come replace knuckle-dragging therapists, such as myself. Money is allocated to physics, chemistry, and business. An argument has been made to increase the wages paid to mental health professionals, thus increasing the talent pool for more adept therapists to flood the field.
Look. Many people can do my job, thus, the wages are low. Not many people, however, can do my job well. Increase the pay to therapists, and we can start screening out the monsters before they act.