This is intended to be a non-flamey offshoot of the Sanctum Santorum thread on Gun Control for those of us who would like to discuss mental health issues. Obligatory note: the vast majority of people with mental illness are not and never will be violent, except in some cases to themselves. As a person in treatment for chronic major depression, I have an interest in dispelling stigma, not perpetuating it. I still think this discussion is worth having. While we don't know if Adam Lanza had an illness, I believe good mental health care could be a useful preventative to mass shootings. It would also have lots more benefits which overall would improve life for people with mental illness and the people around them. Here is a blog entry from the father of Jani, a girl with childhood onset schizophrenic (he's been on TV and written a book on his experiences, so you may have heard of the case. He is responding to the Connecticut shooting. About halfway through, he suggests a concrete action: mandating "assisted outpatient treatment," that is, the ability for the state to force people into treatment or face involuntary commitment. New York's "Kendra's Law" is an example. It applies to people who are "unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision" based on clinical determination, and who have a history of noncompliance with outpatient regimens. As you can imagine, it's been controversial on a number of axes including the rights of people to control their treatment and allegations that it has been disproportionately used to control black men. An independent study at the 10-year mark indicates substantial but not spectacular success rates in reducing violence, suicide, homelessness, and institutionalization. From my quick reading, it appears the study concluded that the court order part was not the key--the key was the simultaneous increase in resources. The court order did, however, seem to make it more likely that the providers would pay attention to the recipient. So what do folks think? if we are to advocate for changes, what should we advocate?