With the recent shooting spree by alleged gunman, Jared Loughner, an individual suffering from mental illness, experts are analyzing the mental healthcare system.
While treatments for mental health ailments are becoming more available, the treatments are less known than physical illness treatments.
In 2008, the United States passed a Mental Parity and Addiction Equity Act that helped financially support individuals seeking treatment for mental illness. Even so, options remain insignificant as a whole.
Most private insurance companies fail to adequately cover individuals requiring extensive mental therapy, forcing them to continue living without treatment. Failure to treat severely mentally ill citizens sometimes results in crimes and increasing the over-population problem in the correctional facilities.
Some cities are working to provide mental health services to residents, but contracting services to private companies typically leads to a decrease in service.
In 2009, the National Association for the Mentally Ill released a survey reporting that many services experience long wait times due to a lack of properly trained therapists.
Most mentally ill individuals cause no physical harm, and it is unknown that if those who do cause harm, would not have done so if treated.
Experts explain the recent Arizona shooting as a tragedy that should cause a severe investigation into the current state of mental health programs and how these type of tragedies can be avoided in the future.