Demi Lovato Raises An Excellent Point About Why Shootings Shouldn't Be Blamed On Mental Illness

She's speaking up for mental health.

At 23, Demi Lovato has experienced more than most adults have. Not only is she an incredibly talented actress and singer, she's also now helping raise awareness for those with mental illness, motivated by her own struggles with bipolar disorder, an eating disorder and drug abuse. 

She appeared and spoke with MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall about these struggles and how she's using them to do good as the spokesperson for the national initiative, Be Vocal: Speak up for Mental Health. But while talking about her work, she touched upon a common myth about the mentally ill that is pertinent just a few days after a man shot and killed people at a community college in Oregon. That myth being that shooters are usually mentally ill or that mental health reform is the sole way to solve this problem. 

She shuts down that notion immediately:


“I think it’s really important,” she continued, “to remember that actually mental health — people with mental illness are actually more likely to inflict harm on themselves and become the victim rather than be the perpetrators.”

And she's right. 

According to The American Journal of Public Health, people with a mental illness only committed less than 5 percent of the 120,000 gun-related deaths in America between 2001 and 2010.

Of course, helping the mentally ill is still a priority, but shouldn't be the sole focus on deterring gun deaths. Lovato spoke with lawmakers about that very issue on Capitol Hill before her interview and gave advice from her own experience. She says those who are suffering should feel free to speak up so that others can help. The rest is up to the government. 

"I would love to see comprehensive health reform in our government," she says. "And that mental health treatment is more accessible than it is ... 4 out of 10 people with mental illness are getting the treatment that they need, which leaves you to think how many people aren't getting treatment."

Watch the full segment below:

(H/T: MTV)


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