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Discussing mental health following mass shootings

2 On Your Side spoke to two mental health advocates Monday evening about the stigmas of mental illness, and the types of conversations people need to be.

In the wake of two mass shootings in two days, mental health is becoming a popular discussion topic. Many people are wondering if mental health was a factor for these violent acts and if something can be done to prevent it from happening again.

2 On Your Side spoke two mental health advocates, Karl Shallowhorn and Ken Houseknecht, Monday evening about the stigmas of mental illness, and the types of conversations people need to be having.

"We need funding, we need more people who are providing services, but in anything, we need people just to understand what mental health is," Shallowhorn said. "So that, there are, if there are any red flags, for instance, that come up... we heard, of course, one person say that there were red flags with the young man who committed the atrocity in Dayton when he was in high school, there were a lot of red flags. So, if a person was able to recognize what those red flags are, perhaps we can avert some of these tragedies."

Shallowhorn encourages people to continue to speak up about what you see and hear, and reach out to people around you with concerns.

WATCH: Counselor Karl Shallowhorn on mental health and mass shootings

2 On Your Side's Maryalice Demler spoke with Ken Houseknecht, the executive director of Mental Health Advocate of Western New York. He shared why there seems to be a pattern in the type of shooters. 

"It seems to be a prevailing pattern certainly... in the two most recent incidents and in a number of the other incidents as well," Houseknecht said. "I think there's probably a lot of causes. We would really like to find a single, simple, comprehensive answer to a problem as horrible as someone walking into a Walmart and randomly taking lives away from people and destroying families and communities. It's not that simple. There are a lot of things at work."  

WATCH: Ken Houseknecht discusses mental illness and mass shootings

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