Eric Gay

Guns, violence and mental health: By the numbers

Wednesday's mass shooting at Fort Hood military base has reignited old questions about guns and mental health

Wednesday marked the third mass shooting in five years on a U.S. military base, and the second at Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas. The shooter, who was an Iraq War veteran being treated for mental health illness, killed three and wounded 16 others, before turning the gun on himself.

The tragedy has sparked important debate over several subjects, including military base safety, gun control, mental health issues, workplace violence, federal spending and public safety. But the controversies that surround these issues are long-running.

In fact, just last September we explored them by the numbers in the wake of the Navy Yard shooting. Since another tragedy has raised the same questions, we've re-posted the story here, updating numbers where possible.

463 workplace homicides in 2012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracked a slight dip in workplace killings in 2012, the latest year for which data is available, with 698 people killed by an intentional injury and 463 of these cases classified as homicides. But workplace violence experts like Larry Barton, who counts 40 Fortune 500 companies among his clients, noted an uptick in violent incidents linked to the economic anxieties of the recession and its aftershocks. A 2012 report from the Ethics Resource Center found that physical retaliation against those who report misconduct lept 25 percent since 2009.

64 percent increase in depression or stress between 2010 and 2013

Between 2010 and 2013, the number of people who sought professional help for stress or depression increased from 9 percent to 14 percent, according to a 2013 study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. At the same time, the study found that one-third of Americans cut back on doctor visits or medical treatments in the last five years. A previous study by the Heldrich Center of the long-term unemployed found that 32 percent were experiencing "a good deal of stress" and half had avoided friends and associates. 

One percent of adults made suicide plans in 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet released suicide data for 2011 or 2012, but the suicide rate has experienced a steady increase over the previous five years. In 2005, there were 10.9 suicides per 100,000 people, and in 2010 that number had jumped 11 percent to 12.1 per 100,000 people -- the highest since 1991. In 2010, one percent of the adult population made suicide plans, 0.5 percent attempted suicide, and on average, 105 people committed suicide every day.

Source: CDC

The U.S. has cut $4 billion from its mental health budget since the recession

The number of psychiatric beds in American has plumetted from more than half a million in the 1950s to only 35,000 in 2012, Al Jazeera English reported. Millions of mentally ill Americans are now reliant on community health networks. Last month, one of Minnesota's largest mental health agencies abrupty closed its doors under budget woes, forcing the state's Department of Human Services to send out an urgent memo to community agencies, requesting that they provide mobile crisis services in the area. 

The murder rate increased 1.1 percent between 2011 and 2012

That increase, estimated by the FBI, comes after an extended period of decline. Specifically, U.S. gun-related homicides plummeted 39 percent between 1993 and 2011, reports the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The NRA spent $3.4 million on lobbying last year

The National Rifle Association spent a record $3.4 million lobbying the federal government last year. And with a with a lobbying bill greater than $1.8 million, the National Association for Gun Rights, a newcomer gun rights group, beat even the NRA's record generosity in the first quarter of the last year, according to an analysis by

Mayors Against Illegal Guns spent $1.8 million

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the gun control group co-chaired by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, threw its lobbying weight around last year like never before. But that $1.8 million total analyzed by excludes the $12 million of gun control ads Bloomberg announced he was bankrolling a year ago, establishing the first real counterweight to the NRA.

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