Following The Las Vegas Shooting, Howie Mandel Wants Us To Focus On A Kind Of Reform Many Aren't Talking About

"I'm heartbroken, but I'm also frustrated."

The shooting at an outdoor country musical festival in Las Vegas where at least 58 people were killed and at least 500 others were injured on Sunday night has many of us talking about what we can do to make a difference. In the past decade, the U.S. has seen an increase in the number of mass shootings that occur throughout the country with Las Vegas being the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Something needs to change. 

During his visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Howie Mandel spoke openly about this issue and one solution he thinks could help

"I'm heartbroken, but I'm also frustrated because you hear about gun control and questions like, 'Was he Muslim?' or 'Who was he?' and they always want to put it in a category," he said. "I don't care if you're Muslim, I don't care if you're a child, a teenager, a 64-year-old man, a woman. We're all people and we all have one issue, and that is mental health."

"Anybody, even if they're doing something for a fanatic reason that has to do with their religion, if they have to stoop to this kind of violence, then they have a mental health issue," he continued. "When is our system going to be such that mental health is part of the regular curriculum?"

Mandel is open about his own mental health issues. He struggles from anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder and is medicated to treat the conditions. While he has a great support system, he thinks we can all do better to help others who are struggling with mental health issues in their lives. 

"We have to open up," he said. "We as a community of human beings have to open up and ask somebody, 'What's wrong?' Can you help? Talk. Be there and just change." 

He points out that we focus on our physical health — and we do spend a lot of time, effort, and money on it — but not nearly enough on our mental health. We'll take great care of our dental health or openly discuss any physical pain we're feeling, but we don't open up about mental health struggles and fight the stigma associated with them. And, while we can do some things to help the people in our own lives, our government can make a big difference by focusing on mental health reform. 

"Our insurance companies have to parity the amount of money we spend on physical health with the amount of money we spend on mental health," Mandel said.  

You can watch his interview with DeGeneres in the video below:

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