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    Posted December 21, 2012 by
    North Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Newtown school shooting: Thoughts and tributes

    Healing prayers and hope

    I keep all of you in my prayers.
    I am a mental health nurse who works with children and adolescents.
    Although gun control is important, the fact that services for treatment of mental health disorders and lack of education for the public have made it that too many people do not understand and fear people with mental health issues. As a result most families do not seek or do not have available the treatment modalities needed to help. And the press continues to flame the fear and promote the stereo types. There is no doubt that this young man was disturbed.
    What stops parents from seeking help? Discrimination against people with mental health problems. The reality is the families and friends involved in the Newtown shooting will now suffer from mental illness, be it depression, post traumatic stress,anxiety to name a few. And yet how many will seek the services they need to heal. And will these services be available? Will they be able to get quality care? Are there enough people educated to know the signs and symptoms and when it is time to get help? I know from experience that the answer will be no or maybe.
    Historically mental health is the first cut in federal and state budgets. Insurance companies limit the services and amount of treatment people can seek. Why?
    1 out of 5 people in America suffer from some form of mental illness. PCP's usually treat these illnesses without the knowledge base that specialists have. I would not have my family member's heart condition be taken care of by my PCP. I would go to a heart specialist. Yet children who suffer from depression, anxiety, ptsd and other illnesses are treated by PCP's rather than a psychiatrist/counseling.
    Gun control is important. I am an advocate of gun control. I believe this to be just one out of two issues that need to be addressed. Gun control will not heal the family and friends nor Newtown. Mental health services/counseling/medication/education/prayer and support is what is needed.
    Please support mental health. Please support the need for mental health services. Let people get the treatment they need so we can prevent the horrible event that just occurred.
    We are people of spirit/mind and body. Let us get the treatment we need to support the wholeness of our being and not just one aspect.
    Our unit at our hospital has been praying for all the families that they will get the love, prayers, and emotional support they need to get through a tragedy that has changed their lives forever.

    Karen BSN,RN.BC
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