The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Violence


Tap mental health pros for their help

It's gratifying to know the strong support the majority of citizens have for mental health professionals (MHP) in developing solutions, which might reduce the epidemic killings by high-power weaponry. I know MHP have a lot to offer in reducing the prevalence of gun violence in our beloved county; yet like all resources MHP have their challenges too and these obstacles need to be openly debated.
With my previous three years Army service; almost three decades of experiences as a probation and parole officer; experiences on two major serial offender task forces; eight years volunteer work on the Snohomish County Sheriff's Cold Murder Case team; and 15 years of private MHP practice, I have some suggestions (as many other learned MHP have) about how to deal effectively with violent or potential violent individuals.
To get the non-violent measures discussions started, we in private practice must get the support of insurance companies when it comes to providing coverage for marriage and family therapy. As it stands now, too few insurance companies pay for this service; therefore a strong support system for families is missing. We licensed marriage and family therapists know without developing a strong family system, potential violent offenders have a major void in their ability to develop non-lethal ways to deal with life's stressors.
I am challenging our community leaders to bring together 12 to 15 MHP, who names must be drawn from both parties of for-profit and non-profit behavioral health specialists. The goal of these experienced professionals is to collectively develop recommendations, which could lead to the reduction of gun violence in our neighborhoods. Then these MHP endorsements should be forwarded to those who are in charge of making public policies for their action.
Chuck Wright
License Mental Health Counselor
Mill Creek

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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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