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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Mental illness awareness; College students who succeed

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 8, 2015 9:40 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, October 8, 2015:

Last week nine people were shot and killed by a troubled young man at an Oregon community college.  The New York Times is reporting that his mother has blogged that her son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome -- a high-functioning form of autism. There is no evidence that those with Asperger's are prone to violence.

As often happens after a mass shooting, Americans have asked themselves what caused the shooter to resort to murder and why it keeps happening. 

Almost all the gunmen in these mass shootings were mentally ill in one form or another.  Unfortunately, it seems to be the only time that mental illness and its treatment are discussed or get attention.

We are in the midst of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Appearing on Thursday's Smart Talk is Angela Kimball, who serves as the director of state policy at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). 

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Also, there are 21 million students in college today.  Millions more are recent college graduates, but yet the U.S. Labor Department says that nearly half of college graduates are underemployed by working in jobs that don't require a college degree. 

How do some graduates realize their career aspirations and find jobs making good salaries while others are left to wonder whether the time and money spent in obtaining their degree was worth it?  

Thursday's guest may have some answers  Anne Deeter Gallaher is co-author of the new book The Future Belongs to Students in High Gear.

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Anne Deeter Gallaher


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  • Robert D Colgan img 2015-10-08 12:15

    CONFLATING mental illness with the mass murders that have occurred does a huge disservice to the people who struggle with or who have had or will have an illness affecting their thinking/perception of reality.
    CONFLATING mental illness with those incidents seems to be a way of trying to make some sense out of what appears not be sensical at all-------yet ends up by the process of CONFLATION tabbing all people with so-called "mental illness" as dangers and threats to society.

    It is a FALSE conflation.
    It is analogous to conflating outbreaks of food-induced illness with the sellers of the produce----of making sellers of produce one of the major threats to public health.
    It does nothing to identify the source of contagion, to identify the failure to effectively regulate agricultural practices or handling practices before shipping to consumers.

    Conflation has the effect of shifting blame inappropriately, and, by distracting away from the underlying condition does little to redress the genuine nature of the problem.

    Clearly, anyone who engages in mass murders is giving vent to their most murderous rage which (may) originate from somewhere in their past: abuse of some nature that so powerfully affects them they feel nothing but homicidal hatred. Anyone filled with such rage is a threat to all around them. Yet seldomly do those who have such rage act by murder as a means of catharsis. It is a rare occurrence.
    Yet it happens.

    Is all mass killing mental illness?
    We give medals to those with the greatest number of kills in warfare, often promoting them to leadership positions in government or society.. . . certainly they are not regarded as"mentally ill" for having mass murdered. (regardless the oddity that those murders are regarded societally as fully justifiable------when to the person filled with rage, as the person in battle may have been at the time of the killings, they are actions done in the heat of the moment)

    I think the people who murder, and especially those who murder large numbers, are acting without full consideration of the consequences of their actions (one of the definitions in law of an insanity plea)------yet by labelling them as mentally ill we damn every other person so labelled whether they have murderous impulses or whether they cause harm to themselves or anyone else.

    We have a gun culture, a car culture, a toxin culture (chemicals, pharmaceuticals)----------these things are considered as essential threads in the American fabric-----------yet taken as a whole these three alone directly contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths yearly.... deaths that are preventable, and unnecessary. Yet we hold on to them as if our lives depend on them.