Isla Vista: What treatment for mental illness?

05/27/2014 2:05 PM

05/28/2014 12:07 PM

Re "We must confront our inability or unwillingness to aggressively treat people with severe mental illness" (Editorial, May 27): Apparently, Elliot Rodger was receiving treatment for mental illness. Clearly, his treatment did not help.

As a retired clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist, who worked with the mentally ill and their families, I have a bias toward family therapy. I have found that as soon the parent suspects their child has a problem, it is necessary for the family or caretakers of the child to all be seen together. The family must be made aware of the diagnosis and must participate in the therapy. This eliminates the barrier of confidentiality as the family is treated as a unit.

Individual therapy is not as successful, as the person feels too isolated and lacking in support. If the parents are deceased, then a guardian needs to be appointed to take care of the mentally ill person's needs.

-- Laraine Silberstein, Sacramento

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