I shared some of my thoughts on the need to act on our systematic failings regarding mental illness a few days ago. The NY Times recently featured this article, which I wanted to share as it is a good read and a call to action. Something that I had not realized, is that psychiatrists are not allowed to discuss someone’s mental state without having examined him or her (and then, only after receiving permission to discuss the case). This means that doctors who are most competent to address the crisis of untreated, or under-treated, mentally ill persons who go on shooting sprees, aren’t allowed to talk about their mental illnesses. They cannot say, I think this person was sick, and lives could have been saved if we had gotten them treatment, or made treatment more available. Treatment can be effective in many cases, but we must have avenues to deliver treatment before tragedy happens.