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Today, the Washington Post chronicled Jared Loughner‘s journey from IHOP-loving Normal to alleged Killer. The AP wrote its own Loughner bio with shitty poetry. These stories were your typical five-days-since-Tragedy stockpile of reporting, fast-paced Dateline-esque narrative, and limp attempts at explaining mental illness (From WaPo: “And then Jared Loughner slipped into a world of fantasy that was no online game.”)
We’ve all read this story before. As a reporter, I’ve done this story many, many times over the years.
There was the case of Osman Abdullahi.
There was the case of David Kerstetter.
And there was the case of Kyle Hulbert.
These were just the young men I wrote about since 2001. Young men who suffered through mental breakdowns or moments of crisis without adequate government interventions, who ran out of meds, who ended up in an unregulated group home, who got ignored. Kerstetter didn’t hurt anybody before he was killed by police in his own bathroom. These are just the infamous cases of alleged police breakdowns, murder, and massacre. What about the kids no one reads about?
A new study by the Rand corporation found that 60 percent of D.C. adults diagnosed with depression and enrolled in a medicaid managed care organization did not receive treatment. That same study found that 72 percent of D.C. children with depression also went without treatment. Another recent report noted that even kids who enter into our juvenile-justice system do receive adequate mental-health treatment.
What are we going to do about those kids?
*file photo by Darrow Montgomery.