Mass shooting brings mental health issue to forefront - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Mass shooting brings mental health issue to forefront

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX -

Questions surround the mental health of the gunman in the Colorado shootings. It's a problem with many parents across America -- parents that are afraid of their own children. What can these parents do?

While many parents held their children a little bit tighter upon watching this tragedy unfold, other parents, the parents of children with mental illnesses, are now coming forward. They're fearful that their children might be on the other side of something like this.

Authorities say that 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother before shooting up Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 lost their lives. Lanza had a personality disorder.

As a nation watched in horror as details of the tragedy came out, a woman composed a blog entry called "I am Adam Lanza's mother," touching on the topic of mental health. It tells a terrifying tale of a woman who fears her mentally ill son – a boy she describes as highly intelligent and most often, loving.

"There's not a whole lot known about what switches the child," says Associate Professor of Psychology at Midwestern University, Thomas Virden.

Virden says resources to help mentally ill children and adults are scarce – almost nonexistent. Especially when medication and therapy don't work.

"Unless there is a significant and serious and obvious problem, and by obvious I mean the child has done something to hurt somebody, then our current state doesn't see fit to intervene."

In the blog entry, the writer talks about the legal system, or specifically jail. But Professor Virden doesn't see that as an answer.

"We need early intervention. We do not need vilification of people with mental health issues," he says.

He asks parents to identify triggers -- helpful in treating or identifying potentially violent behavior. He adds that what happened in Connecticut isn't about gun control – but mental health.

FOX 10's Anita Roman reports.

Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices