In light of the recent shootings at colleges and universities across the country, many have asked if someone missed a "cry for help" from the suspects. In the case of both the UC Santa Barbara and Seattle Pacific University tragedies, the shooters had a history of mental health issues that had been inconsistently treated. It is very difficult in these modern times to involuntarily mandate individuals and no level of regulation can ensure treatment compliance.[spacer height="10px"]
As we continue our series Drop The Mask, it is clear that the perpetrators in these cases struggled with masking their own mood disorders from family, friends, and associates. As we continue to work on our own emotional wellness, let us not forget that we exist in a world of community that is only improved when we demonstrate care and concern for those around us in a manner that safeguards ourselves and the safety of others. Here are some signs that someone in your life my be crying out for help with relieving their emotional distress:
1) Increased social isolation
2) Non-compliance with medications and/or counseling appointments
3) Generalized anger at specific social demographic groups vs. individuals
4) Change in performance levels at work and school; or chronic unemployment
If you recognize these signs in an individual you have come in contact with; express your concerns to licensed mental health professional and/or someone in authority that can safely assess the situation.