(MOBILE, Ala.) The Newtown, Conn., tragedy has sparked a nationwide discussion about mental health, after reports the gunman may have struggled with various symptoms of mental illness.
Activists are crying out for us to do better. The question is, how?
"You cannot prevent life from happening," says Lynn Anderson. "You have to prepare."
Anderson is a long-time volunteer with Mental Health America. She says identifying the signs of illness early is key, rather than hoping symptoms get better with time.
"Parents are the first line," she says. "If you know you have mental illness in your family, and you have even the first inkling this child may need help, go get help. Early."
It's a nationwide challenge, as mental health programs are constantly on the chopping block and the number of uninsured Americans grows. Anderson says there is no easy solution, but help is out there for those that need it. It's up to all of us to help them find it.
"I don't know where the piece is missing, but I know it was far too late and too little," she says. "You can't just give up and walk off."
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