National Tragedy Brings Mental Health Issues to Forefront
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, lawmakers and citizens ask if more can be done to help those troubled among us. Video by kmir6.comvideo
In the wake of the Connecticut shooting, communities are examining whether there are enough mental health resources available to help the most troubled among us.
"What saddens me is that it takes something this horrific to wake people up," said Caroline Redmon, a therapist-intern at All Desert Wellness Centers.
According to the CDC, fewer that one third of children with mental disorders get help and fewer than half of adults. Officials with the Riverside County Department of Mental Health say part of the problem is cost. The county only covers low income patients. Middle income families often fall through the cracks. The other problem comes from the shame people feel in getting help.
"We have a long way to go because there is still this stigma to mental illness, it has been something that you hide in the closet," said Redmon.
Now questions are swirling around the shooter, Adam Lanza's, mental state and whether his family ever sought help.
"Everything was pent in. He didn't have a place to articulate all this. He had, what I believe, was a psychotic break," said Redmon.
Mental health issues weren't a topic Congressman-elect Raul Ruiz talked about on the campaign trail, but he says they will be something he'd like to address as he heads to Congress. "We do not have sufficient mental health services to meet the needs of our population," said Ruiz.
Redmon adds families coping with tragedy also need to reach out to get help.
"We need to educate people about mental health and that there is no shame to it and that there is help out there," she said.
For a list of services available in the Coachella Valley, visit:
Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.