A Workaround to End Mass Shootings

Recent mass shootings break our hearts. Many doubt that Congress will produce real change, despite widespread debates.

The same arguments are repeated after every disaster. It’s time to stop spinning our wheels and look at proven alternatives to forestall these incidents. 

The BIG Act

The BIG Act is one such instrument. This law, if passed, would give schools and communities the funds to safeguard students’ health and safety.

It would do so by providing the best procedures for schools to establish primary care intervention groups, which can utilize evidence-based techniques to identify and treat students at risk of injuring themselves or others. 

Initiatives at Columbus State University in Georgia and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, devised the legislation. Columbus State’s program will help students before such a problem becomes a crisis. 

Columbus State highlighted a top-performing student whose grades fell and who started fights. What happened to the student?

The institution knew this student would be unable to enroll for the next quarter since he was behind on his tuition. 

After finding the problem, they talked with the student and learned he had been working two jobs since his dad lost his job and couldn’t assist him.

What if Columbus State hadn’t stepped in? This kid could have spiraled and never finished college or harmed himself or others. 

Telehealth efforts led to the development of Texas Tech’s UHSC program.

Texas Tech’s initiative delivers mental health therapy and tele-behavioral healthcare services at remote West Texas schools. 

Schools and Communities

Schools and communities need direction on how to provide community mental health resources for students to prevent, intervene, and treat mental health disorders. These kids can seek help before their illnesses deteriorate. 

In 2014-2018, the CDC found that one in six pupils had a childhood mental condition. It’s becoming worse.

In November 2020, the CDC published a report on pediatric mental health ER visits. From April to October 2020, mental health visits for 5 to 11-year-olds rose 24% over the same time in 2019. 12-17-year-olds’ visits rose 31%. 

The coronavirus epidemic affected everyone’s mental well-being, including our children. We must do everything we can to prevent, intervene, and treat mental health disorders in children before they deteriorate. 

Realistic solutions require a realistic perspective. Communities and schools can consider public factors while maintaining constitutional rights and privacy. Who’s struggling or causing problems is obvious.

Grades and behavior records are available to parents and teachers. By recognizing the indicators, the community can avert another tragedy. 

The BIG Act is non-prescriptive. It means gathering the guiding principles and then determining the optimum system. Local communities, school systems, and academic facilities can build their models. 

Congress should pass this bill. It cleared the House with bipartisan support and is awaiting Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s action. The BIG Act gives students the resources they need to succeed and avoid catastrophes.