Monday, December 17, 2012

The Connecticut Shootings and Mental Health

There is a saying, “Success leaves clues”. There is always a pathway to it, and if you usually follow it step for step, you will always end up with a flavour of it. Well, so does failure. It has the same pattern in which it follows, yet with obviously different actions and results.

The tormented soul that walked into that school in Connecticut and shot an innocent classroom of young children and educators including his mother, needs to be finally addressed.

It needs to be studied like an FBI case unit, and used as a textbook example of what it looks like to follow the path of a tormented young gunman. Society needs to look at his mindset, education, groups and affiliations he was apart of; mentors and friends of his need to be extensively interviewed. Every ounce of this kid needs to be dissected and spun into a big web of a mental health profile, and it needs to be shared with every parent in the world.

This needs to be addressed and talked about like we are introducing the big pink elephant in the room that everybody sees, yet ignores and hopes it goes away.
Well, it’s not going anywhere.

I’m really clear that this isn’t solely a gun control issue. I’m pretty confident that a twisted deranged person like this would have found a way to commit this heinous crime in his own way, so I won’t waste time addressing that issue.

My issue is that this kid’s behaviour was developed over time and he was ignored and allowed to slide under the radar. It went unaddressed for who knows how long, until it became so unbearable for him that he felt his only self-expression was to take the lives of young kids in an unprecedented manner. I find that completely unacceptable, and it brings our society to a new low.

We have seen some pretty horrific crimes, yet this one can never, and will never be understood. It can only be studied, documented and learned from so that we can see that we have a communication issue with our children.

To me, there are many issues to address here. There is the Mental Health issue, the gun control issue, the communication with our kid’s issue, and I’m quite sure that there are many others. This seemed to be the perfect storm of a combination of unaddressed issues that turned into something so horrific that it will affect the way we move forward.

Someone like Michael Moore may make a documentary about it, the media will enable it to get into every home telling us who to be afraid of, and who is to blame for this, yet the real issues go unaddressed, and to me, it starts with something simple.

We need to let the scared and terrified parent who doesn’t know that it’s ok to ask for help, that it’s ok to ask for help.

They need to know that they are not alone, and more importantly, that it doesn’t mean that they are “bad” parents. We need to let them know that it’s normal to have the feelings that they have while struggling with their child’s mental illness and not look down on them.

We need to extend to them the empathy that they need to love their child even though their child’s brain does not function the way we think “normal” does. Only until we can have an open conversation about this, and lose the stigma presently associated with mental health issues, will we see progress, and the pink elephant will cease to exist amongst us.

Yet until then, the pink elephant moves from home to home, ignored and unaddressed until something like this happens again…



1 comment:

  1. This goes beyond mental illness. The majority of people with 'mental illnesses' are non-violent. This is about someone who feels so alienated from everything and everyone that no amount of 'help' would change anything. We have to stop ostracizing people before it gets this out of control.


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