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The Interview: Mass Shootings and America's Mental Health Crisis

The country's gun violence epidemic comes hand-in-hand with a mental health crisis.

Last week’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, set a new record for the most lethal act of gun violence in a school in the United States. Nineteen children and two adults lost their lives in the South Texas incident, which closely followed the racially motivated attack that left ten dead in a  supermarket in Buffalo, New York. As the gun violence epidemic in the U.S. has grown ever more devastating, the public reaction follows a familiar cycle of outrage and inaction. Amber Ybarra, a relative of Eva Mireles, one of the two adults killed in the massacre, joined Roundtable to discuss the episode, the media coverage, and what the incident reveals about American society today. In this segment, she talks about the need to address a growing mental health crisis. 

In the wake of the shooting, Ybarra argues that society needs to seriously reckon with its compounding mental health crisis, starting in the most intimate circles of family and friends.

“I struggle with mental health issues myself,” Ybarra says. “There are these little buzzwords that people throw around, but what do our conversations with our loved ones look like in our tight knit circles? That's what I like to focus on.”

Being open with family and friends about difficult emotions, she says, is vital.

“There are really dark places you can go when you feel an amount of sadness, when you feel helpless in certain situations, especially traumatic situations,” she says. 

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“It’s important to have people that will love you unconditionally, people who you're not going to feel judged to break down in front of and say all the things [you are feeling, whether it's anger or sadness.”

Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

Amber Ybarra, Cousin of Uvalde shooting victim