Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Care for mental health seems missing from picture

To the editor:

Regarding the Newtown shootings, I have been reading disturbing things. How Adam Lanza’s mother was a survivalist who packed guns in expectation of societal meltdown. How, when Adam was young, she advised a babysitter never to turn his back on Adam, even when in the bathroom. How a plumber observed Adam living his life in a windowless basement. I wonder how the mother could have expected this would end well.

My guess is that competent help would have begun with Adam’s mother, as the person committed to Adam and sharing her house with him. My hunch is that those affected by loved ones’ mental issues are the first ones for helpers to reach out to, toward defusing human time bombs.

Could anyone have connected with the mom — given her a cup of coffee, listened to her survivalist theories? Could Adam’s school counselors have structured a plan of support for when the young man aged out of services? I am sure that Newtown has mental health professionals. I suspect a more thoughtful use of their resource was needed in this case.

Mary H. Hall

South Hadley

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