Experts Discuss Mental Health On the Record

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Last week's tragic school shooting in Newtown, CT has sparked two debates. One dealing with gun control, and one dealing with mental health after learning that the shooter had a form of Autism known as Asperger's Syndrome. Dr. Lee Lee Marlow with Weems Mental Health says that people with mental health issues actually aren't more likely to commit violent acts solely based on their condition.

"We know that individuals with mental illness are not more likely to be involved in activities that are violent or dangerous activities, but we do know that violence in this nature, mental health, or issues related to that are often involved."

Many are quick to point a finger at mental illness as the cause of these acts, but Debbie Ferguson, Director of Central Mississippi Residential Center believes that a number of factors play into these acts of violence.

"In circumstances like this, there are a combination of issues where Mental health is one of those. It's not the single source of the issue, and I guess that's what I would like to make sure people are aware of."

After looking back at similar incidents, Dr. Marlow says that many of them involved individuals with mental health issues, but that doesn't mean there are actually more people with mental illness, just more known cases.

"I think that with this type of problem, the frequency has increased because of the numbers of people involved. Mental illness, I think we are much better at identifying mental illness than we ever have."