We may never know the reasons behind the school shooting in La Loche.
Some are questioning the mental health of the alleged 17-year-old shooter. Some wonder if part of the solution may be found in increased mental health support.
But Jeffrey Swanson, a professor at Duke University who specializes in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, says that isn’t the sole reason for what happened.
“The vast magority of people with mental illnesses are never violent,” said Swanson. “The problem is violent behavior is caused by many different things that come together and interact in complicated ways.”
Swanson has devoted his career to working on evidence to bring better interventions policies and treatment to improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses.
He realizes there is a problem when it comes to mental health issues.
“We have a big problem in the United States. The mental health care system is fragmented and overburdened and under resourced with many people going without treatment.”
“That problem (mental health) though is a different problem than violent behavior. These are two public health problems that intersect on their edges and we have to think about them differently.”