In May 2014, Elliott Rodger gunned down several unsuspecting residents in Isla Vista before turning his gun on himself. It was well-known among his psychiatrist and parents that Rodger had evidenced mental imbalance of a serious nature for a significant period of time. The knowledge of this atypical behavior on the part of those who knew him well, was not enough however, to curtail its escalation with its devastating irreversible result.
My own experience as a psychotherapist over the years, points to a flawed diagnostic system often lacking in appropriate and timely interventions. Our humanity as mental-health professionals often compels us to conveniently overlook seriously aberrant behavior on the part of our clients.
Laura’s Law has sought to identify these behaviors in a timely manner and then implement them with concrete and effective strategies that would prevent societal tragedies such as the one that Mr. Rodger perpetrated against the inhabitants of Isla Vista.
As I have interfaced with our city’s officials since 2014, during the aftermath of this incident in Isla Vista and in reference to the acceptance and application of this model, it has been a source of profound dismay to me that this effective paradigm for remediation of mental imbalance has been approached with an attitude of seeming lethargy and less-than-adequate fiscal resources toward its appropriation.
Now, more than ever, let’s support NAMI’s (National Alliance on Mental Illness) investment of endorsement over the years for increased funding for this valuable program. To do so, is truly in the best interest of us all.