“There but for the grace of God go I.” ~ Author Unknown
Working as a school administrator, spending half my career as a teacher and an administrator of special education programs, I have met and attempted to help youths with all manner of mental illnesses, some with serious personality disorders, sociopathy, and psychopathy.
Some have threatened my life, some have hurt me physically, some have made remarkable progress and went on to live fulfilling lives.
Most do very well, some manage, and others will always be dangerous. There is no way to know how it will turn out in most cases so you go to great lengths to make a difference.
Some mental conditions or combinations of mental illnesses are more serious and we must put more resources into these most severe and most dangerous cases. Right now, they are the ones people give up on most readily. We need places to board them and protect them and their families. Our mental healthcare system is lacking.
If I sent a violent student in the throws of a dangerous fit to the hospital, they’d evaluate him, keep him/her for a day or two and then release him/her, usually with medication. Some of these students need to be given a place in a mental facility. There are almost none.
We have had great difficulty with mental hospitals in the past. They can become dangerous places, places where these youths can learn how to be worse.
We need to provide safe facilities. We need more home visits by social workers. That might not have changed the Sandy Hook tragedy but that tragedy has brought this problem to light.
I have posted part of a story by a mother suffering in a similar way to Mrs. Lanza and you can read the full story on The Blue Review, It is well worth the read.
It doesn’t change my mind that evil exists and that it takes evil to make a person do what an intelligent and capable Adam Lanza did, but it is enlightening. I don’t know what made Adam Lanza commit such an unspeakable crime but mental illness might have played a role.
If we care about our fellow man, we must care about our mentally ill before it is too late: