FROM Linda Rosenberg
Newtown Massacre and the Lessons about Mental Illness Nobody will ever know what led Adam Lanza to slaughter twenty 6- and 7-year-olds last Friday at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut. But what has been reported strongly suggests that he was a young man who needed help. Is it ever possible to know what a killer is thinking? In 1999, as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Rick Meyer interviewed 17-year-old Jamie Rouse for more than 30 hours over several days. Using a semiautomatic rifle, Rouse had killed a teacher and a 14-year-old student at the Richland High School in Lynnwood, Tennessee.
Newtown and the Lessons about Mental Illness Nobody will ever know what led Adam Lanza to slaughter twenty 6- and 7-year-olds last Friday at the Sandy Hook School. But what has been reported strongly suggests that he was a young man who needed help. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent, but the Newtown massacre has raised questions about America's mental health system. Mental hospitals have been shut down, but seldom replaced with community-based services. Federal and state resources have been cut to the bone. Private care is expensive, insurance coverage is rare and very sick people can end up in jail, even though treatment could be available. We hear from a desperate mother who called the police on her own son, and the words of a killer who never received the treatment he needed.
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