"I am Adam Lanza’s Mother" Essay goes viral

Anarchist Soccer Mom Blog - Her post has gone viral
The Anarchist Soccer Mom's post has gone viral. If you teach college psychology or in any profession dealing with public policy or mental health in the US, this is a post to share and discuss with your students.

In a viral blog, a Mom of a mentally ill 13 year old stirs up conversations about mental health and how hard it is to get help for a child with anger problems.

While I applaud the article, it saddens me – she changed her child's name, but still, I don't think it will be hard for those who follow her to figure out who she is — or more importantly – her child. Her child will be labeled and that is sad.

Even worse is this comment:

“When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population. (http://www.hrw.org/news/2006/09/05/us-number-mentally-ill-prisons-quadrupled)”

You shouldn't have to put a child in jail to get them help for a mental illness — the circumstances that make that happen are what is criminal.

We want to blame the gun but if we're not helping scared Mom's with their children who are mentally ill, we're ignoring the real problem.

If you are a college professor of psychology or any profession dealing with mental health and public policy in the United States, I think this is a vitally important read.


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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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