Mental health experts say that, unlike many other states - where little can be done to force an unstable person into treatment until he or she becomes violent and poses a danger to themself or others - Arizona is different.To me this puts the onus back on us. The college, the military, people who had been around him and felt concern, any of them could have reported him if what is said above is true. People are understandably reluctant to do this fearing the person or possibly that they will hurt that person's life if they are wrong. Still if someone had, possibly he would have gotten the treatment he didn't think he needed.
Any person in Arizona can petition the court for a psychiatric evaluation solely because a person appears to be mentally ill and doesn't know it.
"When people appear mentally ill or show some instability, how do you get them to [mental health] resources if the system doesn't know those people are out there?" Cash said. "Our crisis line is manned 24/7. Anyone concerned about his behavior could have called at any time."
Cash added that he had no information on whether Loughner sought out private treatment covered by private insurance. "If he was interfacing with other mental health officials, I don't know about that," Cash said.
That, of course, runs smack up against this:
WASHINGTON -- In the past year alone, Pima County, Arizona, the site of the tragic shooting of 20 individuals including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) has forced more than 45 percent of mental health service recipients off the government rolls, a service advocate tells the Huffington Post.This is another of those things that people want but never want to pay for. It is highly unlikely that these cuts made any difference to a young man who was in denial of having a problem. If his parents were either afraid of him or unwilling to face the truth, he was unlikely to have been seeking help. Still if we want to incarcerate people to determine if they are safe to be out in public, it costs money.
The drop enrollment was protested strongly at the time, with opponents warning that the reductions would result in a spike in suicide attempts, public disturbances, hospitalizations and law enforcement encounters. But according Clarke Romans, Executive Direct of The National Alliance on Mental Illness’s (NAMI) Southern Arizona Division, the state ignored requests for relief, citing the need to implement strict budget cuts.Now, in the wake of this past weekend’s horrific shootings, along with subsequent reporting about the seemingly crazed mental state of the shooter, politicians, reporters and activists alike are taking a fresh look at the funding of mental health care