Categories for Mental Health
GUNS/MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump on Thursday [8-15-19] advocated the return of more mental health institutions to combat gun violence, while also throwing his support behind background checks for gun purchases. Speaking with reporters in New Jersey before heading to a campaign rally in New Hampshire, Trump said that mental health was an under-considered factor in gun violence and that his administration would examine it ‘at a level that hasn’t been done before’…Mental illness is a frequent talking point among Republican lawmakers when dealing with gun violence, to the consternation of their Democratic counterparts, who argue that the United States’ unique, widespread access to guns is to blame. Critics of the idea that mental illness leads to gun violence also argue that it stigmatizes mental illness and reinforces the unproven idea that mental health correlates with violence. Trump argued that institutions for people with mental illness — whom ‘we can’t let … be on the streets’ — were necessary to curb gun violence.”
–Matthew Choi, “‘We have to start building institutions again’: Trump again links guns and mental health,” Politico, August 15, 2019 8:52 pm
JOE BIDEN/MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump on Friday [8-9-19] said he would be ‘thrilled’ to run against Joe Biden in next year’s election, claiming that the former vice president is ‘not playing with a full deck’ after a series of public flubs at campaign events the day before. Speaking to the Asian & Latino Coalition PAC in Des Moines, Iowa, the gaffe-prone former veep slipped up while discussing the disparity in curricula at different schools…Biden is known for his tendency to make public flubs — in remarks at the Iowa State Fair earlier Thursday [8-8-19], Biden acknowledged his ‘problem is sometimes I say all that I mean.’ But a series of three slips of the tongue in one day drew extra scrutiny from the press and especially conservatives. In a speech at the state fair Thursday afternoon, Biden bungled the end of his stump speech, where he attempts to draw a contrast between his priorities and those of Trump. When he normally implores voters to ‘choose truth over lies,’ Biden on Thursday asked fairgoers to ‘choose truth over facts.’”
–Caitlin Oprysko, “Trump, without evidence, again attacks Biden’s mental state after ‘poor kids’ gaffe,” Politico, August 9, 2019 12:16 pm
CALIFORNIA/ICE/IMMIGRATION/MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Federal inspectors visiting a California migrant detention center made a shocking discovery last year: Detainees had made nooses from bedsheets in 15 of 20 cells in the facility they visited. The inspection revealed the extent of a largely unseen mental health crisis within the growing population of migrants who are being held in detention centers in border states. President Donald Trump’s 2017 decision to reverse a policy that encouraged releasing vulnerable individuals while they await deportation hearings has left U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unequipped to deal with conditions ranging from anxiety to schizophrenia. One estimate puts the number of detainees with mental illnesses between 3,000 and 6,000. Some advocates and lawyers who work with migrants in the facilities say it’s probably more. Many of the migrants with mental illness are not stable enough to participate in their own legal proceedings, so they languish in detention. While treatment of immigrants has become an explosive national issue, the plight of mentally ill migrants has scarcely registered.”
–Renuka Rayasm, “Migrant mental health crisis spirals in ICE detention facilities,” Politico, July 21, 2019 6:54 am
MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Today, we celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of Americans with ASD and reaffirm our commitment to work together to ensure that every member of our society is afforded equal opportunities to reach their full potential. #WorldAutismAwarenessDay https://t.co/JQbJ2TGA3P”
–Donald Trump, Twitter.com, April 2, 2019 2:42 pm
MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “World Autism Awareness Day 2019: Significance, history and theme via @htTweets https://t.co/kRLZoYEIJS”
–Donald Trump, Twitter.com, April 2, 2019 7:02 am
MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VETS: “Just a few moments ago, I signed an EO addressing one of our nation’s most heartbreaking tragedies: VETERANS SUICIDE. To every Veteran—I want you to know that you have an entire nation of more than 300 million people behind you. You will NEVER be forgotten.https://t.co/DKxiV5Ku3B”
–Donald Trump, Twitter.com, March 5, 2019 2:49 pm
CANADA/MEXICO/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Mexico, Canada and the United States are a great partnership and will be a very formidable trading force. We will now, because of the USMCA, work very well together. Great Spirit!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, October 3, 2018 9:13 am
CHILDREN/IMMIGRATION/LAWSUIT/MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The US government should cover mental health treatment costs for immigrant children who officials separated from their parents, a new lawsuit argues. The class-action lawsuit, filed by a group of lawyers in federal court this week, also seeks unspecified damages for children affected by the Trump administration’s now-reversed zero tolerance policy at the border. The trauma the children and their families experienced, the suit argues, ‘was life altering and it will continue to affect their mental and emotional well-being for years to come.’ The suit, which was filed Wednesday [9-5-18] in US District Court in Massachusetts, comes as officials continue efforts to comply with a California federal court’s order to reunite families the government separated, including some families who were split up before the zero-tolerance policy began.”
–Catherine E. Shoichet, “Separated families are suing the Trump administration over mental health treatment costs,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, September 6, 2018 11:01 am
2A/GUNS/MENTAL HEALTH/POLITICS: “Republican leaders in Congress have proposed a range of measures to boost funding for mental health and school security in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, following high-profile calls from gun-control advocates and vocal students.
The approach has been welcomed by states and school districts, which have for years unsuccessfully lobbied for increased federal spending to supplement dwindling local budgets. But it is unlikely to quell continuing calls for lawmakers to consider gun-control measures, which many Democrats say are needed to reduce future shootings.
The House plans to vote next week on a bill authorizing $50 million a year on school safety improvements, including violence-prevention training for teachers and students. A similar Senate bill, sponsored by 30 Republicans and Democrats, would boost school security spending by $1 billion over a decade… Republicans said security and mental-health measures would be effective, and that when it comes to guns, the current laws should be better enforced.”
-Michelle Hackman, “After Florida Shooting, GOP Pushes Funding for School Safety,” The Wall Street Journal online, Mar. 9, 2018 09:30am
2A/GUNS/MENTAL HEALTH/POLITICS: “The Florida state Senate passed a package of gun control measures designed to prevent another school shooting like last month’s attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
The proposals, which passed by a 20-18 vote, include raising age restrictions on the purchase of all firearms in the state, banning the purchase and possession of bump stocks, and setting a three-day waiting period to buy any gun, including rifles and shotguns.
The package also provides $400 million for mental health services, including mobile crisis teams and school safety programs, such as metal detectors, bulletproof glass and school resource officers.
The lawmakers rejected a statewide ban on assault weapons and limits on high-capacity magazines.
Perhaps the most controversial proposal is a measure to arm some teachers, despite the opposition of Gov. Rick Scott. The lawmakers passed an ‘opt-in’ program as a last-minute amendment, according to the Miami Herald…
Lawmakers in both parties found items they opposed in the package. Some Democrats objected to arming any teachers, while some Republicans opposed setting a waiting period to buy any gun and raising the age limit from 18 to 21…
The House’s legislative session is scheduled to end on Friday.”
-Richard Gonzales, “Florida Senate Approves Gun Control Package, OKs Arming Some School Personnel,” NPR.com, Mar. 5, 2018 09:35pm
2A/GUNS/MENTAL HEALTH/POLITICAL FIGURES: “In the wake of this month’s Florida school shooting, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) renewed his calls for a better background-check system to keep firearms away from the mentally ill, but said nothing of his two votes opposing restrictions on gun purchases by some people deemed unfit by the federal government.
The Miami Republican said that his two votes — concerning some veterans and Social Security recipients — sought to protect constitutional rights, and he pointed to a slew of gun-control legislation he has either co-sponsored, drafted or talked up, including an assault weapons ban, which has gained traction after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Curbelo’s shifting and nuanced positions on guns has drawn the same criticism from completely opposite quarters: the National Rifle Association and his top Democratic opponent, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Both describe Curbelo as an opportunist, with Mucarsel-Powell saying he votes like a right-wing Republican in Washington while campaigning like a moderate in Florida’s 26th Congressional District, a swing seat. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton won it by 16.3 percentage points — her biggest margin in the nation in a seat held by a Republican running for reelection.”
-Marc Caputo, “Curbelo on defense over gun-control double-talk, ” Politico, Feb. 28, 2018 05:03am
DONALDISM/GUNS/MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump said on Monday [2-26-18] that the country needs to take a look at whether more mental health institutions need to be opened to treat people with mental illness and avert mass shootings.
The president also said he would have run into the South Florida high school where 17 students and faculty members were killed in a mass shooting, even if he was not armed, and he criticized law enforcement officials who were at the scene of the school shooting but did nothing to try to stop it. He called their performances ‘frankly disgusting.’
‘You don’t know until you test it, but I think, I really believe I would have run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,’ the president said.
Mr. Trump’s public remarks came during a meeting with the nation’s governors, in part to discuss school safety after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla… The recent shooting has reopened the contentious debate on gun safety and Second Amendment protections. Mr. Trump has proposed arming school staff who receive special training, improving background checks for gun purchases and raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 to buy assault rifles. On Monday, he said the closure of many of the mental institutions across the country needed to be revisited and that the institutions could potentially treat more people with mental illness.”
-Eileen Sullivan, “Trump Says He Would Have Rushed In Unarmed to Stop School Shooter,” The New York Times online, Feb. 26, 2018
GUNS/MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump called again on Thursday [2-22-18] for the opening of more mental hospitals to help prevent mass murders like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Yet ramping up institutional care, experts say, likely would not have prevented most of the spree killings regularly making headlines in this country…
In the 1960s, states across the country began to close or shrink mental hospitals after a series of court decisions that limited the powers of state and local officials to commit people. The decline continued for decades, in part because of cuts in both state and federal budgets for mental health care. Those institutions housed people with severe mental disorders, like schizophrenia, who were deemed unable to care for themselves. And while spree killers may be angry and emotionally disordered, few have had the sorts of illnesses that would have landed them in hospital custody.
The latest school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, 19, was clearly troubled and making threats, and he was stockpiling weapons. But he had no mental diagnosis. He has been described as angry, possibly depressed, perhaps isolated — not so different from millions of other teenagers.
A full psychiatric evaluation, if he’d had one, might have resulted in a temporary commitment at best, but not full-time institutionalization, experts said.
The idea that more such institutions would prevent this kind of violence ‘is ridiculous, because you can’t put half the people in the country with a mental disturbance in mental hospitals,’ said Dr. Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University who has studied mass killers.”
-Benedict Carey, “Opening Mental Hospitals Unlikely to Prevent Mass Shootings, Experts Say,” The New York Times online, Feb. 22, 2018
2A/GUNS/MENTAL HEALTH: “I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue – I hope!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Feb. 22, 2018 08:13am
CRISIS/GUNS/MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Feb. 15, 2018 07:12am
MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump’s White House physician said Tuesday [1-16-18] that the president received a perfect score on a cognitive test designed to screen for neurological impairment, which the military doctor said was evidence that Mr. Trump does not suffer from mental issues that prevent him from functioning in office…
Mr. Trump’s first physical examination as president was highly anticipated, in part because of an increasing number of public questions about his sometimes erratic behavior during his first year in office. A book published this month, “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, asserted that even Mr. Trump’s own advisers and associates questioned the president’s fitness for office.
Mr. Trump, the doctor said, asked for the cognitive test to answer his critics and attempt to quell questions about his mental abilities… Dr. Jackson said that despite expressions of concern, a cognitive test was not indicated for Mr. Trump and he had not planned to conduct one at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where the president underwent his annual physical on Friday…
Dr. Jackson said that Mr. Trump received a score of 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a well-known test regularly used at Walter Reed and other hospitals.”
-Michael D. Shear and Lawrence K. Altman, M.D., “Trump Has Perfect Cognitive Test Score, White House Physician Says,” The New York Times online, Jan. 16, 2018
MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Democratic Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle is unveiling a bill called the ‘Stable Genius Act’ that would require all presidential candidates to undergo a medical exam and publicly disclose the results before the election.
The Stabile Genius Act is an acronym for the Standardizing Testing and Accountability Before Large Elections Giving Electors Necessary Information for Unobstructed Selection Act.
Boyle’s measure would require nominees of each political party to file a report with the Federal Election Commission certifying that he or she underwent a medical exam by the Secretary of the Navy, which he said must contain the exam’s results.
‘The President believes he is a *stable genius.* I do not,’ Boyle said in a statement. ‘Before voting for the highest office in the land, Americans have a right to know whether an individual has the physical and mental fitness to serve as President of the United States. While it is necessary to take the current President’s concerning behavior seriously and I support legislation to address these ongoing concerns, I believe we must also be proactive and do all we can to ensure a situation like this does not arise again.’
His bill comes after President Trump called himself ‘a very stable genius’ over the weekend as questions about his mental fitness for office were raised by author Michael Wolff in his new book, ‘Fire and Fury.’ This also comes as political chatter has intensified in recent weeks about the 25th Amendment, which can be one method — though a very difficult one — to oust a sitting president.
Mr. Trump will undergo his first physical since taking office on Friday [1-12-18]. A White House spokesman said Monday that a psychiatric exam will not be part of his physical.”
-Rebecca Shabad, “Democratic congressman introduces “Stable Genius Act”,” CBS News, Jan. 9, 2018 12:00pm
MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “If President Donald Trump were any other 71-year-old — covered by Medicare and having his annual wellness visit — he’d be checked on his cognitive functions and possible safety risks. But when the president goes for his physical exam Friday [1-12-18], the White House said his mental fitness won’t be tested. And there’s no guarantee that the public would find out the results of cognitive tests if Trump were to take them.
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said such tests are not part of the president’s planned physical. ‘He’s sharp as a tack. He’s a workhorse, and he demands his staff be the same way,’ he told reporters aboard Air Force One.
That decision concerns physicians and public health experts who say Trump should be assessed the same way as other elderly Americans, particularly given his globe-shaping job and his control of the U.S. nuclear arsenal…
Trump’s visit to Walter Reed Medical Center, where he’ll undergo his first physical as president, continues a long tradition of presidents getting semi-regular check-ups in order to reassure the public… But the White House is neither required to perform a regular physical exam of the president, nor required to release all of the details unless the president consents. The exam also may not include Medicare’s standard battery of wellness tests, which are designed for Americans age 66 and older, and check for risks like depression and other neurological problems. When asked whether Trump would have ‘a psychiatric test,’ Gidley responded no, but declined to elaborate.”
-Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn, “Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you,” Politico, Jan. 8, 2018 07:04pm
CIA/MENTAL HEALTH/MIKE POMPEO/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “CIA Director Mike Pompeo defended President Donald Trump’s mental abilities in the wake of a book claiming Trump does not read or properly process information presented to him.
‘Those statements are just absurd,’ Pompeo said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’
When he delivers information to Trump almost daily, the President engages with it and is an ‘avid consumer’ of the CIA’s work, Pompeo said.
In the past, Pompeo has described Trump as engaged with the intelligence in his briefings, and said part of Trump’s preferred briefing method involves visual aids and ‘killer graphics.’…
The White House has taken issue with the claims in Michael Wolff’s book, ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,’ since excerpts of it began to surface online ahead of its publication, with press secretary Sarah Sanders calling it “complete fantasy” and an attorney for Trump sending a ‘cease and desist’ threat to the book’s author and publisher…
When the CIA director was asked what he would say in a psychological profile of a world leader who calls himself a ‘very stable genius,’ he said would not dignify the question with a response. Pompeo added: ‘We’re keeping America safe, and President Trump is completely capable of working alongside of us and leading us in that effort.’ “
-Eli Watkins, “CIA director defends Trump’s mental abilities,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, Jan. 7, 2018 03:26pm
DONALD ON DONALD/MENTAL HEALTH/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump, whose sometimes erratic behavior in office has generated an unprecedented debate about his mental health, declared on Saturday [1-6-18] that he was perfectly sane and accused his critics of raising questions to score political points.
In a series of Twitter posts that were extraordinary even by the standards of his norm-shattering presidency, Mr. Trump insisted that his opponents and the news media were attacking his capacity because they had failed to prove his campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign…
The president’s engagement on the issue is likely to fuel the long-simmering argument about his state of mind that has roiled the political and psychiatric worlds and thrust the country into uncharted territory. Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation to force the president to submit to psychological evaluation. Mental health professionals have signed a petition calling for his removal from office. Others call armchair diagnoses a dangerous precedent or even a cover for partisan attacks.
In the past week alone, a new book resurfaced previously reported concerns among the president’s own advisers about his fitness for office, the question of his mental state came up at two White House briefings and the secretary of state was asked if Mr. Trump was mentally fit….
Mr. Trump’s self-absorption, impulsiveness, lack of empathy, obsessive focus on slights, tenuous grasp of facts and penchant for sometimes far-fetched conspiracy theories have generated endless op-ed columns, magazine articles, books, professional panel discussions and cable television speculation.”
-Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, “Trump, Defending His Mental Fitness, Says He’s a ‘Very Stable Genius’,” The New York Times online, Jan. 6, 2018