As we discuss gun safety and mental health as a nation, we must include dementia as another risk factor. Public Health officers have a role to play. Gun safety screenings should be done at points of contact with individuals at risk. They could be performed by physicians, clergy, counselors, and home care agencies.
Tragic losses occur that don't make the news. While not mass murders, any death at the hand of someone with known mental confusion causes great pain in a family and community, and it's avoidable. A public campaign to offer education and supports to family, friends and professionals would make a difference in stopping tragedies.
Gun control is a politically charged topic. Yet there's much we agree on regarding gun safety. As a mental health professional, I've rarely heard gun safety and dementia discussed together. With our aging demographics, how can we not?
-- Mary McClain, Nevada City