Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I am Adam Lanza's mother

My daughter sent me this article following the Newtown masacre. What struck me was the mother's view that the choices for her son were between prison and shuttered hospitals. I had thought that the twentieth century had created comprehensive community programs  for difficult cases such as hers. Reading her impassioned plea I felt that I had returned to the nineteenth century.  Are community programs also shuttered in her area or is access to them so difficult that it amounts to the same thing.  It does seem to me that the question of access to such programs should be an important part of the 'conversation' that we are having in the wake of this most recent tragedy. Certainly in the area where I practiced psychiatry, funding for comprehensive public  programs are being cut. Such programs are necessary because the incentives in the private sector do not favor providing adequate treatment for difficult people such this woman's son.

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