How to get help for a violent mentally ill child

TOWSON, Md - Early indications are now that 20 year old Adam Lanza has some form of mental illness that his family was trying to deal with.

Some reports say that his mother, who was one of his victims, had told a friend that Adam Lanza was beginning to spiral out of control.

Many families find themselves in that position.  

They feel alone, or overwhelmed and scared.

We may never really know what was wrong with Lanza, but for families dealing with a loved one with mental illness it can tear them apart.

And by the time this problem gets to the level where the police get involved it's too late.

"In the cases in Baltimore County it appears though in the most recent shootings the family appears to have had some knowledge of emotional mental health issues while we like to try to handle things within our family I think there is a point in time where a family needs to reach out to professionals and I think that's a key component to helping to reduce these incidents across America. " Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson says

Thousands of people suffer from some sort of mental illness but they're able to manage it with help.

Here in Maryland there are services that can help families cope and get the help they need.

 Every county has mental health services and immediate and crisis intervention programs.

For young people it starts in the schools with most districts working to help parents get services they need.

There is still a lot of shame and stigma associated with mental illness and it's really important for people to seek treatment and get help. " Maryland Mental Health and Hygiene Secretary Doctor Joshua Scharfstein says. "There are county based mental health services so if there is a real problem and somebody is out of control from a mental crisis response can get involved right away and help resolve the situation. "

For more information about mental health resources you can find the core mental health service near you at http://www.marylandbehavioralhealth.org/

For immediate crisis intervention you can call 1-800-422-0009

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