70% of Texas counties have more gun dealers than mental health providers, I-Team says


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — There are at least twice as many gun dealers as mental health care providers in more than a fifth of the country, according to an ABC7 data analysis of active federal licenses maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 41 counties across the United States have at least 10 times more gun dealers than mental health care providers.

70% of Texas counties have more gun dealers than mental health care providers. This includes Uvalde – where a gunman slaughtered 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School this week.

“Texas ranks last in mental health funding…zero…last,” said Dr. Ranak Trivedi, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford.

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According to the 2022 State of Mental Health in America report, Texas ranks last of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for overall access to mental health care. Records show Texas Governor Greg Abbott cut $211 million from the department that oversees mental health programs.

However, Dr Trivedi said it is important to remember “we often try to confuse these mass shootings with mental illness and there is no mental illness linked to being a mass murderer or a mass shooter. It’s not a recognized psychiatric illness, but I think there are a lot of people in distress looking for weapons.”

Areas of the country with the highest ratio of gun dealers to mental health care providers include Iowa, which has two counties in the top five, Texas, Missouri and Indiana. Warren County, Iowa tops the list with 23 times more gun traffickers than mental health care providers.

That’s not the case in California — the state is one of seven across the country where each county has more mental health care providers than arms dealers. San Francisco County has the highest ratio of mental health care providers to gun dealers across the country. There is only one arms dealer in the county against 4,110 mental health care providers.

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“It doesn’t surprise me,” St. Sen said. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). “In San Francisco, we have always prioritized access to mental health care, we invest in it, we have a culture of access to treatment and we have also prioritized reducing guns. fire in our city.”

Senator Wiener has passed legislation that will take effect in July that will expand access to mental health care for the uninsured. Follow-up appointments should be available every two weeks if necessary.

“One of the challenges that people face is that when people don’t have insurance, sometimes they can get a first appointment with a therapist or other mental health professional, and then they can’t get a second or follow-up appointment,” he said. said.

Among the top 15 counties with the highest ratio of mental health care providers to arms dealers, San Francisco is followed by Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York. The next closest California counties are Alameda County (8th highest) and Marin County (13th highest).

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