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Watch John Oliver's Brilliant Segment on the Mental Health System

Why it's "a clusterf---," and what can be done

Liz Raftery

With many news reports categorizing the recent mass shooting in Oregon as the work of yet another mentally ill person wielding a gun, John Oliver is refusing to follow that narrative.

"The aftermath of a mass shooting might actually be the worst time to talk about mental health," Oliver said on Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight. "Because, for the record, the vast majority of mentally ill people are nonviolent. And the vast majority of gun violence is committed by non-mentally ill people. In fact, mentally ill people are far likelier to be the victims of violence, rather than the perpetrators."

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"But if now is our only opportunity to have a public discussion about mental health, then perhaps we should do it," Oliver continued.

The host went on to offer a point-by-point analysis of America's mental health system, which he described bluntly as "a mess."

"Our whole system needs a massive overhaul," Oliver said. "It is a clusterf---. Except, that's an insult to clusterf---s."

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Citing statistics about the number of mentally ill people who wind up in prison or worse, Oliver called on politicians including Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson - who have referenced mental illness in their discussions of the Oregon massacre - to come up with a proposal to bring increased funding to mental health programs across the nation. "If we're going to constantly use mentally ill people to dodge conversations about gun control, then the very least we owe them is a f---ing plan," Oliver said.

Watch his full segment below: