- Posted December 23, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Too Many Shootings: Time to Do Something Different
Adam Lanza clearly had some form of mental health problems. According to Channel 3 News (http://www.wfsb.com/story/20380266/adam-lanza-underwent-psych-evaluations-in-years-past), Adam was evaluated by a mental health professional in the past. Nothing is known about the evaluation. Since the Newtown disaster last year, we have been faced with the Navy Yard shooting following an evaluation at 2 Military Hospitals and the stabbing of senator Deeds by his Mentally Ill son after being released from the emergency department. Both had the opportunity for evaluations for mental illness and dangerousness. Both hospitals missed the signs and both men were released to the community.
The Colorado School shooter, Pierson, was reportedly very opinionated, had made threats, and had emotional outbursts in the past. More information will come out over time.
What is missing is a fundamental understanding by many professionals that mental illness and dangerousness are two different concepts. One related to how a person thinks and feels and personality structure, while the other relates to skills and behavior. These 2 realities are assessed differently and our traditional mental health tools are not adequate for measuring risk for dangerousness or reducing the risk for dangerousness, which is made up of skills and behavior.
This is where the US needs to undertake major research projects to identify who is at risk for violence and what interventions will lower their risk or risk reduction.