The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) has released the following statement in response to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida.
Albany, New York
Contact: Harvey Rosenthal, 518-527-0564
The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, a statewide coalition of people with serious mental health conditions and community service providers released the following statement today.
We are joined by people with mental health conditions, their families, community mental health professionals and advocacy groups across the nation in reaching out to share the grief of the families and individuals affected by the tragedy in Parkland, Florida.
We agree with our colleagues at the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy in recognizing that “when tragedies occur, it is human nature to seek meaning in an attempt to avoid such tragedies in the future. But attempts to make the Parkland massacre about mental health conditions are misguided and distracting talking points designed to create the false appearance of predictability.”
- “The main risk factors for violence still remain being young, male, single or of lower socio-economic status.”1
- Mass murderers “have more mundane motivations: revenge, money, power, a sense of loyalty, and a desire to foment terror.”2
- Even if all potential mass shooters could somehow be identified and subjected to psychiatric treatment, “there is no known cure for angry young men who harbor violent fantasies.”3
- People with mental health conditions are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators.4
“Any responses to this tragedy that ignore the real causes of such violence will instead demonize people who have a mental health condition, without actually lessening the level of risk,” said Brian Hollander, NYAPRS co-President.
“False and harmful claims and attacks on mental health conditions not only fail to address the primary issue, they further discrimination against individuals with mental health conditions,” he said.
We place responsibility for the murders in Parkland on the shooter himself, and on the easy access to deadly weapons of war.
- Label this violence caused by the use of guns a national public health epidemic.
- Fund appropriate research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the FY 2018 omnibus spending package.
- Establish constitutionally appropriate restrictions on the manufacturing and sale, for civilian use, of large-capacity magazines and firearms with features designed to increase their rapid and extended killing capacity.
“And NYAPRS stands with the young people of Parkland who demand better answers for safe schools,” said Douglas Hovey, NYAPRS Past-President.