It has been almost eleven months since the Sandy Hook shootings, and Connecticut remains one of only five states that does not have an assisted outpatient treatment law that would compel potential dangerous psychiatric patients into therapy.
Following the Newtown tragedy, the Connecticut legislature passed gun legislation but ignored the real issue of untreated mental illness. This legislation has chased gun manufacturing jobs out of the state and spurred a run on gun sales in Connecticut. The only thing this law has done to make Connecticut safer is now more residents have guns to defend themselves.
Mass killings almost always have two things in common: a deranged killer and a gun-free zone. The Washington Navy Yard shooting had both. It also did not involve any weapon that would be illegal in under Connecticut’s new gun law....
Most psychiatric patients will never harm anyone other than themselves. However, one group, paranoid schizophrenics, can be dangerous. This is the group of patients that needs much closer observation. Unfortunately, if they are not an imminent danger to themselves or others they cannot be involuntarily hospitalized in Connecticut. Once this patient leaves the hospital there is no way compel them to continue treatment.
Strengthening civil commitment laws would not harm psychiatric patients, but rather it would make it less likely that they would end up homeless or in jail.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Thoughtful Letter By a Connecticut Doctor
From the November 8, 2013 New Haven Register: