Hand-holding Zone by Flickr user J.Elliott, licensed by Creative Commons

Mother Speaks Up About Mental Illness and School Shooting

We need to educate ourselves

Tragedy struck on Friday, December 14 in Newton, Connecticut.  There were 20 children and 6 teachers murder by the hands of Adam Lanza.  I think after this shooting we all have come to understand the importance of safety in schools and gun control.  But a lot of people are missing the real issue, mental health.  One mother reached out to provide some understanding for the situation because she too deals with a troubled son.

Liza Long can relate to Nancy Lanza because she also has a son that is difficult to read and needs more attention than others.  Liza recently wrote about how her 13 year old son terrifies her and lashes out with angry and violent assaults, both verbally and physically.  She takes the face for Nancy and all the other mothers whose sons have retaliated and harmed others.  Now she is reaching out asking for help in hope that mental illnesses will be taken more seriously.  She wants to educate this country on not only the effects of mental illness but the care that should be provided.

Nancy Lanza lived a secret life behind her home, protecting her thought to be Autistic son.  She was very friendly but made sure that her home was private and that her son was happy.  Some of her friends and neighbors gave Nancy a lot of respect because Adam was so difficult and would act out in school.  He even had to change schools a number of times because of his behavioral problems.  She also shared a love of guns with Adam, an extreme move for a mother with a son with such severe behavior issues.  Nancy was a “survivalist” as some say, protecting her family from anything that may happen.  Her guns were used in the school shooting on Friday.  But to put all of Nancy’s efforts aside, hiding him from friends and family, switching schools, Adam needed real help.  And unfortunately he did not receive enough before the incident happened.

I think we all need to take Liza Long’s advice and have, “a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health,” because as I quote, “that’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.”

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