Experts discuss link between mental health and gun violence

1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago Saturday, June 25 2022 Jun 25, 2022 June 25, 2022 1:39 PM June 25, 2022 in News - Local

Texas lawmakers are looking for more mental health resources to deter future violence and mass shootings.

“Preventing gun violence is a really complex issue,” Dr. Celeste Caballero with the Texas Medical Association said. 

The pediatrician from Lubbock attended a Wednesday special committee hearing called by Gov. Greg Abbott after the Uvalde massacre.

“We ask that again you bolster the medical healthcare system in our state, and provide those community interventions social services needed to provide strong resilient children in Texas families,” Caballero told state senators during the committee hearing.

Diana Chapa, a psychiatrist with UT Health RGV, discussed whether more mental health resources could help deter future shootings.

“I think we all can agree that somebody who is committing an act of violence - whether it's one-on-one, interpersonal or mass - that they are not mentally healthy,” Chapa said. “But that does not mean they are mentally ill."

Licensed therapist Heidi Balleza Ruiz agreed with Chapa.

“Mental health conditions do not always develop into behavioral health disorders,” Ruiz said.

State senators that participated in the special committee meetings could use the ideas they gathered to help propose new laws come next year. Meanwhile, many Democrats have urged Gov. Abbott to call a special session in order to propose new laws before the school year begins. 

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