Describing mental health as a “topic we don’t like to talk about”, the host of Last Week Tonight shared clips showing the way in which we do talk about it using glib terms like “wacko, psycho, cray-cray”. The only time mental health care seems to get significant attention from politicians is after mass shootings. “And you may’t lecture individuals on one thing you bought a D- in”.
In his monologue, Oliver points out how this only serves to further the misconception that those who have mental health problems are prone to violent behaviour, and how the government has repeatedly failed to properly support an underfunded system.
Of course, as John Oliver excellently highlighted on the latest Last Week Tonight, mental healthcare reform is most certainly its own pressing issue in America, though the intentions of the general GOP argument that mental illness is the root of most gun violence is quite simply false.
He even suggested that the country’s whole system needs a massive overhaul. From decrepit psychological asylums-dubbed “snake pits”-to necessary electroshock remedy, it’s all the time been a multitude”. But when properly funded, Oliver said some of these programs actually pay for themselves-“which is fantastic”. Nearly 125,000 young and middle-aged adults with serious mental illness lived in USA nursing homes the previous year. He specifically brought up “Greyhound therapy”, a practice where caregivers and treatment centers allegedly buy patients a one-way bus ticket out of state to make them someone else’s problem. By not doing much. Unfortunately, only 15 percent of police agencies have utilized them.
“OK fine-do it then”, shouted Oliver.
“We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loves ones because of our inaction”. Republican presidential candidates were quick to blame the shooter’s possible mental illness despite the fact he was discharged from the U.S. Army with fears he would misuse firearms, yet had unimpeded access to them. “This isn’t guns, this is really about mental illness“, said Donald Trump.