KANSAS CITY, Kan. - As it became public that the D.C. Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis was undergoing treatment for mental illness before the shooting rampage, it has sparked conversation about mental health.
As local expert and instructor at the Wyandot Center, Beth Yoder Stein, explained there are many mental health resources available to anyone and everyone in the Kansas City area.
The Wyandot Center has been open for 60 years and aims to keep people who were suffering from mental illness out of the hospital or even jail so they can live independently.
The center also offers a mental health first aid course for anyone wanting to know the signs to look for.
She says the Sandy Hook shooting at Navy Yard shooting rampage only make it worse for people struggling with the disease.
She says 19 percent of the population lives with a mental disorder. The top three include anxiety, depression and substance abuse.
She also warned against over generalizing crime and links to mental illnesses. She worries people will always associate psychosis with danger.
"Not all violent crimes are perpetrated by by the mentally ill nor are all mentally ill violent, but that's what you hear and that's where the fear comes in and that's what we're trying to dispel," she said. "They're not that dangerous and are usually the victim."
One of the resources offered is the new program called Mental Health First Aid. It's an 8-hour course that teaches people to recognize the signs and the symptoms and what to do if they know someone who is suffering from mental illness.
For information about the resources available in the Kansas City Area click here .
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