To the Editor:
Trauma means that you have experienced a life-changing event. This event may continue to invade your sense of well-being. You may feel very anxious, very angry, or possibly depressed and withdrawn. The shock of a trauma can reverberate in your thoughts and feelings for extended periods in many ways. Survivors of traumatic events have reported their mind has the ability to bring forward their traumatic event, due to a sight sound or smell, they experienced in their everyday activates years later.
Sandy Hook teachers and first responders shielded the surviving Sandy Hook elementary school students from further horrifying sights, sounds and smells of carnage that Adam Lanza’s insanity exposed these young children to.
Few experiences are more mentally traumatic than witnessing the slaughter of one’s classmates. Therefore, legislators in Hartford and Newtown should contemplate providing long-term mental health services and treatment to the surviving students of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre without these students inquiring any costs in the future, until after they reach the age of 18 or 26. Two reasons why I suggest this course of action, Survivor’s Guilt and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder can cause mental health issues for some people years after experiencing a traumatic event.
The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting which occurred on April 20, 1999. The Columbine massacre caused an urgent debate in Congress over gun control laws and a less urgent debate concerning mental illness a few years later. It has been over a decade from when the Columbine massacre occurred and Congress is still debating gun control laws and mental illness separately. Mental illness affects one person out of every six persons living in this country. Therefore, the question needs asking. When will Congress understand gun control laws and mental illness need debating simultaneously not separately, as a requirement to finding a workable solution to this insane carnage that is swiping across our nation and revealing itself in our schools?
In addition, Congress needs to revise the provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which addresses mental health services and treatment of the mentally ill. All individuals living in the U.S.A. need affordable mental health services and treatment. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is not clear whether individuals need to have mental health insurance as part of their health insurance package.