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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:50 PM

Sandy hook shooting: Was Adam Lanza lashing out against treatment?

Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza may have been motivated by anger at his mother because of plans to have him committed for treatment, Fox News reported Thursday, citing comments from the son of an area church pastor and an unnamed neighborhood source. Fox also cited an unnamed senior law enforcement official saying anger at plans for “his future mental-health treatment” were being investigated as a possible motive.


For its part, Connecticut leans strongly toward supporting the civil liberties of individuals, making involuntary treatment difficult. It is one of six states that does not provide the option of "assisted outpatient treatment,” which allows qualifying individuals to receive court-ordered treatment in the community without being committed to a facility.

Moreover, an individual needs to be dangerous before intervention is possible. The state’s standard does not take into consideration an individual’s past psychiatric history, such as repeated hospitalizations or symptoms of psychiatric deterioration that could culminate in violence.

“Connecticut's civil commitment laws are among the most restrictive in the nation when it comes to getting help for a loved one in psychiatric crisis,” said Kristina Ragosta, senior legislative and policy counsel for the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington, Va., which pushes to make it easier to commit people for treatment before they become dangerous.

Connecticut does have a law allowing for someone to be sent to the hospital for 72 hours for evaluation if he or she poses a danger to himself or others, says Kate Mattias, executive director of the Connecticut branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Emergency mobile psychiatric services in hospitals – including one in Danbury, near Newtown – can come to a home or other location to bring someone into the hospital, she says. And after the 72 hours, if someone can demonstrate that he or she is a continued threat, a judge can order a 14-day stay, she says.

But Ms. Mattias's group and some other advocates oppose involuntary commitment because it “creates an adversary relationship that really poisons any relationship with providers, with caregivers,” she says. “This is one of the lingering fears that people who are living with mental illness have when you start to talk about involuntary commitment – you raise this specter of, ‘They’re going to put me away and throw away the key.’ ”


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Reply Sandy hook shooting: Was Adam Lanza lashing out against treatment? (Original post)
FarCenter Dec 2012 OP
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #1
FarCenter Dec 2012 #2

Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:23 PM

1. If he had only shot his mother, I'd agree that was a possibility

Those first graders didn't threaten him in any conceivable way.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:37 AM

2. It will turn out that his mother had some connection to the school

The most plausible connections are that either:
- she was a volunteer aide with the kindergarten class last year or
- she was consulting with the psychologist about Adam, or
- both.

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