Carnage dominated national headlines in 2012, a year of unprecedented violence in places once considered safe: movie theaters, malls and schools.
The victims: defenseless.
The suspected killers’ motives: largely unknown.
One fact, however, is certain: A great many of the people who commit mass shootings and mass murders in the U.S. have been diagnosed with mental illness.
And they’re not the only ones combating these demons in some form.
Studies from the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties show more than 50 percent of Erie County’s 77,000 residents have suffered or will experience a severe mental health issue, including everything from anxiety to severe mood swings.
Click here for the e*Paper or get today's Register at a newsstand near you for Q&A with Kirk Halliday, Mental health and recovery board executive director, Erie County jail administrator Capt. Todd Dempsey, county health commissioner Pete Schade and Sheriff Paul Sigsworth.
In hopes of keeping a national epidemic from hitting home, a motivated batch of local officials are rolling out a proactive plan to reduce the risks of crime and catastrophes, such as mass shootings, that often result from mental health issues.