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

SAN FRANCISCO — According to an ABC7 data analysis of active federal licenses maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Centers, there are at least twice as many arms dealers as Medicare and Medicaid mental health service providers in more than one-fifth of the country -Services. In 41 counties across the US, there are at least 10 times as many gun dealers as there are mental health providers.

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

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

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

dr However, Trivedi said it was important to remember: “We often try to link these mass shootings to mental illness, and there is no such thing as mental illness when it comes 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 need who are looking for guns.”

Among the areas of the country with the highest rate of gun dealers compared to mental health providers is Iowa, which has two counties in the top five, Texas, Missouri and Indiana. Warren County in Iowa tops the list, having 23 times more gun dealers than mental health providers.

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

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

Senator Wiener passed legislation that goes into effect in July, expanding access to mental health care for the uninsured. Requires follow-up appointments to be available every two weeks if needed.

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

Among the top 15 counties with the highest rate of mental health providers compared to gun dealers, San Francisco is followed by Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York. The closest California counties that come close are Alameda County (8th highest) and Marin County (13th highest).

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https://abc7.com/mental-health-guns-texas-gun-providers/11901835/ 70% of Texas counties have more gun dealers than mental health providers, I-Team finds

Laura Coffey

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