Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More resources needed to help the mentally ill

Yes, we probably do have too many guns and some are the wrong kind. But for a moment let’s focus on what I consider to be the real problem: mental health.

I had a daughter who had a serious borderline personality disorder (borderline between schizophrenia and normalcy) subject to change in an instant, with consequences impossible to predict. Sound familiar? Illnesses like this are very difficult, if not impossible, to treat.

While she was not a 20-year-old male with an assault rifle, she did have a two-ton car that she often drove while impaired, and I could not stop it. I tried. I spoke to the police chiefs and the sheriff but their hands were tied until a crime was committed. When she was having the most difficulty, her mother and I would try to get the authorities (law enforcement and medical) to just put her on a “protective hold” for 72 hours to protect her and for public safety. It never happened, due to the threat of legal action. I was able to take my daughter to five of the best treatment centers in this country, to no avail.

How those of you in this community who have a similar problem and very little if any clinical support will be able to cope remains a mystery.

Our family’s problem came to an end when my daughter jumped from the Perrine Bridge, 43 stories, to her death, on July 4. She was 42 years old.

Think of the danger to all of us, every day, with these situations lurking and parents and friends having nowhere to turn for help. Yes, guns can be a problem, but maybe the hand that holds it is a much greater problem.

Travis Reed

Sun Valley


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