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Sunday, December 16, 2012

"I am Adam Lanza's Mother" Essay goes viral



Anarchist Soccer Mom Blog - Her post has gone viral
The Anarchist Soccer Mom's post has gone viral. If you teach college psychology or in any profession dealing with public policy or mental health in the US, this is a post to share and discuss with your students.
In a viral blog, a Mom of a mentally ill 13 year old stirs up conversations about mental health and how hard it is to get help for a child with anger problems.

While I applaud the article, it saddens me - she changed her child's name, but still, I don't think it will be hard for those who follow her to figure out who she is -- or more importantly - her child. Her child will be labeled and that is sad.

Even worse is this comment:

"When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population. (http://www.hrw.org/news/2006/09/05/us-number-mentally-ill-prisons-quadrupled)"

You shouldn't have to put a child in jail to get them help for a mental illness -- the circumstances that make that happen are what is criminal.

We want to blame the gun but if we're not helping scared Mom's with their children who are mentally ill, we're ignoring the real problem.

If you are a college professor of psychology or any profession dealing with mental health and public policy in the United States, I think this is a vitally important read.

 

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