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Saturday, May 28, 2016
More about the aftermath of Newtown
(Page 2 of 3)

I’m only sorry that it took this senseless tragedy to “let the public peer in and see what teachers and others on the school team do on behalf of our children.” Let the demonizing, as someone put it, stop; I will continue to celebrate teachers and teaching in this column and on the radio.

Let me return to the mental health piece which I continue to hammer: “Everyone needs an outlet for rage: Rage: a violent and uncontrolled anger, fury, or temper. (That’s the dictionary definition.) Rage: a state of helplessness and hopelessness that things won’t get better .... a feeling of isolation that nobody’s listening — or worse, nobody cares .... a sense of injustice without any chance of fairness in sight.... crying out — and then an explosion.”

I wrote these very words six years ago in my newspaper column. Very little has changed, except that those “explosions” are becoming much more frequent. Gun control goes without saying. Armed guards in schools? Not the answer. More about that next time.

Yet again, I’ll repose the question I’ve been asking: Why is an increasing number of young people forced to revert to violence, usually resulting in their own demise as well? I want to make my plea once more: Provide a no-questions asked outlet for any student (or adult) in distress. There has to be a person to turn to and a place to unload if the pressure gets to be too overwhelming. Take another look at those definitions of “rage” above; an intervention must be immediately available and easily accessible — before that pressure cooker explodes.

As I also wrote in that column, I make the Corey-Carey connection with my college class. Remember the poem “Richard Corey”? This guy appeared to have everything “to make us wish we were in his place.” Then he goes home — and puts a bullet through his head. The students understand: Looks are deceiving, which leads to a discussion of masked depression and the Corey-Carey connection. Jim Carrey bravely came out of the mental health closet and shared his battle with depression. When I tell this story, every semester some come forth after class and say “you were talking about me, but I thought I was alone.” No, I don’t treat them; my job is to channel them to a trained mental health professional who can.


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