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Posted by Toni on Aug 3, 2017

Manic Driving

Tragedy takes a hold in San Antonio, Texas, where a man suffering from a severe crisis committed multiple traffic violations including the purposeful ramming of multiple cars. The driver, suffering from a mental health crisis, was involved in a primary accident, and fled the scene only to wreak more havoc on nearby cars and property. Mental health is a serious threat to our growing world, and situations like this are what can occur when proper care is not given or available. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released statistics that give insight to the widespread epidemic of poor mental health in a document titled Behavioral Health Barometer: Texas, 2014. The SAMHSA and I are mutual in that both parties make the case for the importance of adequate mental health care and the dangers possible when such care is not available.

In the San Antonio accident, it is obvious the driver was suffering from a serious crisis. Individuals with severe mental health issues deserve effective care, but unfortunately, due to high costs of care, many patients do not receive adequate attention. In this particular instance, a severe manic episode caused the driver to damage an excess of ten vehicles and injure five adults and seven children in the process. According to the Behavioral Health Barometer, “in Texas, about 637,000 adults (3.5% of all adults) per year in 2009-2013*” suffer from severe mental issues. This figure is notably high when faced with the fact that percentage for the whole United States is averaged at 3.9%. With mental health becoming a growing concern, events such as the tragedy in San Antonio serve as reminders of what remains to be done for our community members. When left unchecked and untreated mental health has the capability to cause extreme catastrophe. The driver, even after wrecking his truck into a mobile home, resisted arrest and become violent with first responders. The mind, in such fragile states, can consume a person’s ability to reason and implement their self-control. The victims from his rampage mostly sustained reasonable injuries, with the exception of two adults and two children who were all rushed to a nearby hospital for a serious injury.

Massive tragedies like this with multiple cases involved can not become a trend in our growing world. It is our mutual responsibility to work together in creating a better system that can provide the necessary care for these individuals. A country where nearly two-thirds of the population do not receive care for mental illness can not expect to avoid incidents like the one seen in San Antonio.

To summarize, the lack of accessible treatment for people who suffer from mental illness leaves the rest of the population in danger of other serious incidents. More studies must be conducted to provide a credible pool of data to further support for accessible care. In a perfect world, we as a species could cure the ailments of the mind, but in this reality, we can still protect each other regardless of sanity level.

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