LOS ANGELES – It’s a scary time to be in America, Dr. Phil McGraw said Wednesday after a gunman shot Congressman Steve Scalise and three others on a baseball field in Virginia.
“I think it is scary right now, and I think people are getting exposed to things on American soil that we never would've thought were going to be part of our lives a generation ago,” the 66-year-old told Fox News.
“Whether it’s school shootings or these random acts of violence, people have to cope with that. I think my show is very important because I think mental health is very important.”
He said he has established an important rule during the 14 seasons “Dr. Phil” has run on CBS — one he applies not only to his shows, but to interviews, too.
“My rule is, I don't do things if I don't feel there is a quality takeaway,” he said. “If there is an interview that is only voyeuristic, I don’t do it…. If it doesn't answer a question or add something to the viewer’s life or the way they handle their family or their health or their children, then there is not some takeaway there.”
There is one “takeaway” that Dr. Phil wants all adults to have: an understanding of Type 2 diabetes. That’s why he’s teaming up with AstraZeneca to launch the ON IT Movement, designed to empower adults with Type 2 diabetes to commit to a healthier lifestyle. He said he was diagnosed with the disease over 25 years ago, but he thinks he had it earlier than that.
“I didn't know it then, but looking back now, I probably had this disease at least five years before I was diagnosed,” he said. “And that’s not uncommon. I didn't recognize the signs clearly enough that I had the disease.”
Dr. Phil said he believes his show has helped Americans explore their feelings, and he hopes to have the same success with the ON IT Movement.
“I think [things have] changed, and if we contributed to that in any small way, then that is something I would be proud of — which is why I plan to be talking about Type 2 diabetes. Because this is a disease that has a stigma.”
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.