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View Diary: Gun Violence, Mental Illness, Laws: Some thoughts (15 comments)

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  •  This is an excellent diary. I will share the link (0+ / 0-)

    This person's perspective is amazing.  First of all, he comes from Newtown and knows everyone in the community, and secondly he has been involved in law enforcement and emergency response.  

    This is a perspective we don't hear enough from.  And well written.  

    We need to focus on the issue of getting treatment for kids who need it.  That means getting right with involuntary commitment, as difficult as that issue can be.  

    For a perspective on that from folks who really have been working in the professional mental health field,  I would recommend the Treatment Advocacy Center.

    http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/

    The purpose of this group is to bring awareness that the tragedy of wasted lives due to inadequate treatment can be addressed by modern science.  

    It happens that I had a tragedy in my family due to the way early onset of mental illness in the middle school and high school time frame is not dealt with.  This is a crucial period and it turns out that after high school graduation and attaining the age of 18, kids drop off the edge into an abyss, if they need help.  

    Lanza, Homes and Loughner were mentally ill.  From reading as much as possible about their affect and behaviors and then looking at their photos, it just seems obvious.  Details will come out as time goes on, but the problem we are dealing with in these cases is about early onset of mental illness and the lack of ability in schools and among parents to recognize this and properly handle it.  

    We as a society are actually still in about a nineteenth century place in our attitudes about mental illness.  We see it as threatening us in a vague and ancient way and so we turn away and deny that it should be something we involve ourselves in.  

    Those people who usually comment on this subject who say that it is impossible for teachers or parents or others to evaluate mental illness really don't understand the mission of education and the necessity for intervening at an early stage.  Not do they understand that the science is really there.  We just don't use it because of our hang ups.  

    I think it is time we paid attention to the Treatment Advocacy Center's call for reform in this area, and to the diarists level headed and sensible perspective.

    We are in desperate need of getting past the sound bite approach to this.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 12:04:16 PM PST

    •  And you got your psych degree from where? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hwstormer

      I remember the outcry when the Majority Leader from the Senate back in '05 or so used the same method of diagnosis to say a woman in Florida should be left on life support. Just looked at a picture. And he WAS a doctor.

      We are in desperate need of getting past the sound bite approach to this.
      Much of what the diarist wrote ARE sound bites. And they are not reasonable.

      Seriously?

      Those people who usually comment on this subject who say that it is impossible for teachers or parents or others to evaluate mental illness really don't understand the mission of education and the necessity for intervening at an early stage.  Not do they understand that the science is really there.  We just don't use it because of our hang ups.
      Where is the evidence to back this up, except for from the NRA.  There is none. In fact the opposite is true.  Most clinicians will tell you that there is no way to tell who is going to do something like this.

      From December 17, 2012 NYT article, In Gun Debate, a Misguided Focus on Mental Illness

      Read the article.  Follow the links, please.  There is way too much good stuff in this article to quote.

      •  I think there is plenty of experience on this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hwstormer

        It is common sense, really.  

        The system needs checks and balances in order to be properly effective and this is where the problems come in.  That implies more people and more programs and therefore, more budget.  

        The system can't be improved by further cutting budgets, nor by fixes like hiring armed guards - at the expense of what we need.  

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:27:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I respect your opinions (0+ / 0-)

        Thank you for responding.  I wanted to open a dialogue outside the crap that I've listened to for the last month.

        One thing missing from my post is that Newtown CT before the shootings had been well known for being the location of Fairfield Hills State Mental Hospital which closed back in the late 90's.  Located in the center of town, it encompassed about 3 square miles of land had over 30 buildings, and during my career had approximately 1500 patients, many of whom were able to "walk away" and end up in town. It had been open about 60 years.  I accept your assertion that I am not a doctor, but I did spend over 25 years of my life dealing with mentally ill persons.

        My argument to you regarding to McVeigh and Lanza is simplistic.  McVeigh was another militia nut job with a deep sense of paranoia and distrust of the government. Some consider paranoia to the extent he had it an "illness" however when it comes to legal definition and fitness for trial, that's another story.  Someone who loads a rental truck with ANFO and blows up a federal bldg because of his anti government stance has issues.

        Lanza not being mentally ill is harder to accept.  Any person who blows his mothers head off with 4 shots while she lays in bed and then drives to an elementary school and kills 26 teachers and babies, and then puts another gun in his mouth and kills himself is FUCKED UP!  I don't care what diagnosis there is.  

        Neither McVeigh or Lanza engaged in what can be considered normal behavior.

        Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.--Adolph Hitler

        by hwstormer on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:28:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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