Dr. Ablow: Mass Shooter Slipped Through Cracks of Broken Mental Health System
Just days after a young man went on a killing spree, reportedly fueled by his anger toward women, there’s a renewed debate on gun laws and mental health treatment in America.
Police say 22-year-old Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death at his apartment before going on a shooting rampage near UC Santa Barbara. In all, six were murdered and 13 injured. Rodger died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In an interview, high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred said Rodger was motivated by male chauvinism.
She said, “Male chauvinism has been […] said by the American Psychiatric Association to be a certifiable mental illness, and it is dangerous to women’s health.”
Today on Outnumbered, Dr. Keith Ablow disagreed with Allred’s assessment.
“She’s lost her mind,” he said. “This is no different than the gun nuts who say, ‘oh, it’s about the guns.’ No, it’s a fractured, frail mental health care system. […] The cracks in the system are big enough for a future killer to fall through routinely.”
Dr. Ablow said Allred is trying to fathom insanity while injecting her own political agenda.
He went on to say that Allred’s assertion is dangerous because she’s suggesting that those who harbor ill will should think of Rodger as somehow aligned with their prejudiced perspective.
Read Dr. Ablow’s opinion piece on how the mental health care system failed in this tragic case on FoxNews.com. Below is a portion of the article:
Last month, several weeks before Rodger killed six people and injured another 13, his family alerted his therapist to videos he had posted on YouTube. Those videos were disturbing enough to prompt his therapist to call a local community mental health center crisis team. The worker at that mental health center was concerned enough to contact police and instruct the police to visit Rodger to see if he posed an imminent risk of death to himself or others. And Santa Barbara county Sheriff Deputies did visit Rodger, spoke with him and then--inexplicably--just left.
During Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown’s second press conference about Friday’s mass killing, he clearly implied that the purpose of a “wellness check” is to see whether someone is physically OK and has come to no harm.
That is untrue, and the sheriff had to know it. The truth is that a wellness check is performed when a mental health professional’s concern about a patient rises to such a fever pitch that he or she decides it is imperative to send police, on an emergency basis, to determine if that person should be evaluated by a psychiatrist right away – involuntarily, if need be.
Something went horribly, tragically and almost unforgivably wrong when Santa Barbara county Sheriff Deputies interviewed Rodger. Again contrary to the statements of Sheriff Brown, Rodger didn’t convince them he was doing just fine. The police convinced themselves that they alone could determine whether Rodger was doing just fine, without taking him to a local emergency room where he could have been more thoroughly evaluated by a psychiatrist. What did they expect to see, a madman ranting with blood on his hands?