Thanks to Network reader Sheila Pires for alerting us to a recent article in the Huffington Post highlighting the approach one community takes to addressing dangerous situations before they get out of hand through the use of a 24-hour mobile mental health crisis team. We highlighted this team (part of Wraparound Milwaukee) in an April, 2012 Network news article but the recent events at Sandy Hook elementary school make the article below more compelling. Read on...
WASHINGTON -- Days before the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, a boy in Milwaukee confessed to one of his teachers that he had been troubled by voices and delusions. The voices were insisting that he do harm, that he shoot people.
He told the teacher that he had access to a gun at home. He said that he was prepared to bring the gun to school.
This is a scenario that unfolds thousands of times every year across the U.S. It may not involve a school like the high school in Milwaukee or an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. But the catalysts are all hauntingly familiar -- isolation and a troubled teen or young adult in crisis.
Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary has drawn considerable attention to gun control, with politicians pondering another assault weapons ban, a potential curb on high-capacity magazines, and background checks at gun shows. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced the formation of a task force to address the gun issue, which he vowed would not be like other Washington commissions. He said he expects concrete proposals on his desk in January.
Less attention has been focused on forging a better policy on mental health care for at-risk kids. Obama devoted a line to the topic while announcing his gun task force. But mental health legislation may be an easier fix and an easier sell to Congress.
There are ways of preventing more Sandy Hooks or Auroras. The solutions are out there, and many have long been in practice.
- Continue reading on the Huffington Post website.