Mental Health AND Gun Safety

Why people who think it's only one and not both should hear us now.


Rick Weiss


Recent national surveys of young people have shown alarming increases in the prevalence of certain mental health challenges—in 2019, one in three high school students and half of female students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, an overall increase of 40% from 2009.

Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Vivek Murthy

Zealous protectors of gun rights are quick to say, “It isn’t the guns, it’s MENTAL HEALTH.” Zealous advocates for gun control say, “Focus on the guns. That’s the priority.” We feel they’re both half right.

Read the Surgeon General’s report. You wouldn’t think it could get any worse. But it has. Much worse.

Remember 2020? That statistic about gun violence as the leading cause of death for American children proves it. After a COVID-depressed 2020, my son took a mental health break from school and began to work, of all places, in one of our state’s largest emergency mental health intake centers as a patient care technician. It’s an emotionally taxing job with huge turnover and huge responsibilities caring for people who voluntarily or are involuntarily seeking mental health care, largely for potential self or other-harm. My son loves his work and this September will head back to school to pursue training and degrees in psychology. Why? Because he sees the alarming rise in mental healthcare need every day that he clocks in. And he wants to help.

We have a longtime friend, an executive level nursing consultant who flies around the country helping mental health centers fix their nursing, accreditation and care systems. Over dinner, she told our son that the mental health crisis is growing and the shortage of skilled mental healthcare workers is profound. We need people like you, she said.

So when people say better mental health care we say YES! When people say we need to work harder to keep guns out of the hands of people in mental health crises, we say YES! “Will You Hear Me Now” supports both the advocates of improved mental health care and gun violence mitigation in their efforts to make America a safer place for kids to learn, grow and thrive in.

Mental Health Care—It’s Personal

And if you or somebody you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please reach out to somebody near you. And if you don’t have anybody you trust:

  • 988: the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 confidential support for people in mental crises

  • 1-800-273-8255: The existing phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: (800) 662-4357

  • Veterans Crisis Line: 988, then press 1

  • NAMI HelpLine: Text "HelpLine" to 62640

  • 911: In an emergency, call 911

· You can also text MHA to 741741 or go to the nearest emergency room.

These aren’t just numbers. On the other end of the line are people who are trained, who care and can help get the urgent care you or somebody close to you needs. People like my son.

To learn more about “Will You Hear Me Now” send us an email at To contribute funds to help us with post-production and distribution of our new film, please visit our GoFundMe and give what you can. To stay on top of our project in real time, check back here often. Finally if you want priority notice of new blog postings email us at and we’ll be sure to keep you up on the latest.

Get in touch