Tucson Tragedy: It's Time for Comprehensive Universal Mental Health
The despair felt by the parents of the mentally ill -- especially those whose illnesses, such as schizophrenia, manifest into anger and has caused them to do physical harm to others -- is unfathomable by the rest of us.
These are not bad parents. They are people who love their children, and have done their best to get medical attention for their offspring, despite the expense (psychopharmaceutical drugs can be as much as $100 a pill, even if needed daily), and the stress of all the red tape traps devised by our American health insurance system--not to mention the lack of comprehensive medical care for the mentally ill, once the financial hurdles have been jumped.
Below is an excerpt for the Mother Lode column in the New York Times, in which several parents with mentally ill children who have done similar acts give their perspectives on the Tucson, Arizona killing rampage that injured fourteen, including U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killed six others.
We can't take healthcare off the table now. In so many ways, our lives depend on our society -- and elected officials -- addressing this topic, and moving forward on workable answers.
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MOTHERLODE / Adventures in Parenting (New York Times; January 11, 2011, 3:31 pm)
A Killer’s Parents /By LISA BELKIN
With Jared Lee Loughner’s unhinged grin staring out from so many Web sites and newspapers today, parents of troubled young adults are stepping forward, giving glimpses into the pain and impotence that comes when your child has mental illness....(Click here for more of this story...).