Nicholas Cruz had a history of mental illness, racial slurs, and buying guns. He seems to be a young man who struggled with multiple mental health issues including:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
It’s important to write here that having these mental health issues does not make any person a mass shooter; however, in this case, these may have been factors in his decision-making process. I don’t know of any research that tells me exactly what the factors are. The shooter also cut himself and was visited multiple times by the police and local mental health agency Florida Department of Children and Families to assess his well being.
This was a horrible, tragic event that hopefully motives all of us to constructive, positive action. A few ideas include:
- Educate ourselves about mental health issues
- Work to eliminate stigma so that people who suffer with mental health issues seek help earlier
- Fund more research into targeted violence so that law enforcement and mental health providers can make more accurate predictions
- Provide a role for mental health providers to intervene in all states. Some states already mandate that mental health providers warn potential victims.