Idaho writers discuss mental health on national news

Credit: CNBC

Idaho writers discuss mental health on national news

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by Jamie Grey

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBJamieGrey

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 2:57 AM

BOISE -- Following the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, many in the country are calling for a discussion about mental illness, including two Idahoans who have appeared on national television in the last two days. One is a Boise mom and author of a controversial blog and the other is a local college instructor.

While there has been no confirmation that the Newtown shooter had a particular mental illness, the murders and some speculation about the shooter's character and personality have sparked discussion about mental healthcare. CNN, NBC and CNBC have all requested the perspectives of two Idaho writers.

A Boise mom, who KTVB is not identifying to protect her son, wrote a powerful blog after the shooting. She says she can relate to parents of recent mass shooters, like the Newtown killer.

"Every time I hear of a mass shooting, I think about my son, and I wonder if someday I'll be that mom," she told NBC news.

She says her 13-year-old suffers from ADHD and intermittent explosive disorder, and she says he is, at times, violent.  Some have criticized her for sharing her son's story, and even posting an old photo of him, but she tells KTVB her son is okay with her sharing.

"I've talked to him about it. He knows about that picture. He knows about that entire blog. And actually his reaction has been very positive. He said, you know, mom, I don't want to be like this, and if we can help people, that'll be great," she said.

Also taking to the airwaves, Clayton Cramer, an adjunct faculty member of the College of Western Idaho and author of "My Brother Ron", a book about mental health issues. He appeared on CNBC, focusing on firearms and gun control isn't as important as discussing mental health.

"The real issue here is the mental health problem. Because we have a surprising number of murders in the United States. Typically 500-600 a year involving mentally ill offenders," Cramer said.

While Cramer told CNBC most gun murders are statistically not committed by people with mental illness, he, and the blog writer, say the mental health discussion needs to happen now.

"I really want to start this conversation even though it's hard. It's a hard conversation to have, but there are so many people who are struggling with this. If I was the person who had to start this conversation because I dared to speak out, well then, let's talk," the blog writer said..

The Boise blogger's ex-husband confirms his son suffers from mental illness, but wanted to make it clear that not everyone with his conditions goes on to commit violent crime. 
 

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