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The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met again last Friday only to provide a somewhat confusing discussion about the mental health information that has been considered about Newtown shooter, Adam Lanza, by not only the Commission but also the State’s Child Advocate’s Office.
Apparently the Child Advocate’s Office has had the ability to review Lanza’s school records and has put together a “narrative” for the Commission to review. The Commission, on the other hand, has reviewed some, but not all, mental health records and will have the opportunity to review the Child Advocate’s report with the intent of combining information to ensure there are no “omissions.”
This is good news. It’s been nearly two years since the shooting at Sandy Hook and, finally, it appears that some information – if only in narrative form – about Lanza’s mental health may come to light. The question, though, is how much information will be made publicly available?
This is no small issue. Ablechild long has held that the mental health history of Lanza should be made publicly available, if only for the purpose of justifying the State’s enormous increases in mental health services funding that was instituted within months of the shooting.
More importantly, though, is Ablechild’s concern that, with all of the costly and sweeping mental health increases, the State’s children will be unnecessarily identified and labeled with mental illnesses, based on the actions of Lanza, of which, the State has provided no supporting information.
In other words, to date, there is no detailed information about Lanza’s mental health, or lack thereof, that would suggest the need for increased mental health services. In fact, based on all available information, it appears that Lanza received mental health services from a very young age and was seen by the best mental health professionals money could buy, including the prestigious Yale Child Study Center.
The problem, as Ablechild has written on numerous occasions, is that there is no publicly available information about Lanza’s mental health services after 1997 – five year prior to the shooting. Will the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission and the Child Advocate’s Office make public any information about the five years leading up to the shooting that so far remains a State secret?
Furthermore, will either entity allow the public to review the “narrative,” and will the supporting documentation be made available for discussion? Because the mental health of the State’s children rests on the information provided by these two groups, it seems inconceivable that Lanza’s actual mental health record would remain shielded in secrecy.
The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission meets again on September 23rd to take up the differences in “narratives” collected by both groups. Ablechild believes the people of Connecticut have a right to know all the details of Lanza’s mental health treatment, especially if it is Lanza’s mental health treatment that has spurred the costly increases.