Mental Health Center Proclaims That Mental Illness Does Not Equate to Violence

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As The National Gun Control Debate Focuses on the Mentally Ill One Mental Health Center Takes A Stand

Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

“It is easy for us to think that horrific crimes are committed by the mentally ill, but in truth it is a very small population of mentally ill who are violent.”

With the gun control debate heating up in the wake of mass-shootings across the country, the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center takes a stand against the stigma of mental illness and violence.

“In the wake of such tragedies we often try to make sense of how someone could commit such a horrific act,” said Ben Brafman, CEO and founder of the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center, a mental health treatment facility located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Unfortunately the easiest answer is often incorrect.”

The stigma of mental illness and mental health disorders has made it difficult for the nation’s healthcare system to adequately provide comprehensive care for individuals diagnosed with these terrible diseases according to Brafman. Strained federal, state and local healthcare budgets have cut funding to many of these centers leaving some of America’s most vulnerable populations without appropriate care opportunities. Unfortunately, a lack of education among the general public has led to a belief that people who suffer from mental health disorders and mental illness are violent and deserve to be cared for through the criminal justice system.

Studies indicate that a very small percentage of people suffering from mental health disorders are violent towards themselves or others. Hundreds of thousands of Americans take anti-depression medication, and according to NDAA, approximately 40 million Americans or 18% of the U.S. population suffers from an anxiety disorder.

“It is easy for us to think that horrific crimes like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary are committed by the mentally ill, but in truth it is a very small population of mentally ill who are violent,” said Brafman.

Several legislative leaders have suggested including language on mental illness and mental health in proposed changes to U.S. gun control laws.

“A national database of people who suffer from mental illness will be a major obstacle in breaking down the stigma of mental illness,” said Brafman. “I suspect we would see a significant decrease in the number of people seeking care, leaving potentially hundreds of thousands of American’s to suffer in silence.”

Brafman founded The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center in memory of his mother, a vocal proponent of increasing the opportunity for care. Brafman, who also founded nationally recognized substance abuse treatment centers, Destination Hope and Destination Hope: The Women’s Program, identified the need for a private, specialized mental health treatment facility in South Florida after seeing many community health centers shrink or limit their services. Mental health treatment is covered under many health insurance plans and screenings will be covered under the Affordable Care Act starting in 2014.

The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center treats individuals suffering from a wide variety of mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Through specialized treatment programs, clients work with their treatment team to develop a comprehensive plan that has long-term quality of life improvement in mind. For more information on mental health treatment opportunities, please contact The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center at 1- 888-205-2775.

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The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center is a full service mental health facility located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Dedicated to helping individuals who suffer from mental illness find a path to living better, The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center offers treatment and support for a wide variety of mood and thought disorders including: depression, anxiety disorders, anger management, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. For more information on mental health treatment please contact The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center at 1-888-205-2775 or online at http://www.mentalhealthcenter.org.

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