Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Soldiers killing themselves at record rate


We owe our freedom to the soldiers who have fought the enemy.
There is another enemy stalking our soldiers today, it is common, lethal and ugly. It is suicide.
I have compiled some excerpts from an article by Med scape.  These have been edited and condensed by me but the content is directly from the article.

Military Records show that Suicide Rates are  going up.
September 26, 2012 — With suicide rates by military personnel reaching all-time highs this summer and rates of psychiatric illnesses in this population — including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe depression — on the rise, clinicians, members of the US Congress, and even the President are taking action. In August, the US Army confirmed that 26 active-duty soldiers and 12 reserve soldiers died by suicide in July, which is the highest number ever recorded in 1 month in this population. From January through July of this year, a total of 116 active-duty soldiers and 71 reservists are believed to have killed themselves, compared with 165 and 118, respectively, in all of 2011.forward for help...

These sobering rates of military suicides  have grabbed the most recent attention of experts.  A report released last December by the DOD estimates that 18 veterans die by suicide each day. And between 2005 and 2010, active service members took their own lives at an average rate of 1 every 36 hours.
When men and women come home, they need to be able to get into a social life that they had before. And they are not mentally capable of doing it. They are not the same people; and they need to be able to get assistance to be able to assimilate back into normal society. We owe them that much.
Representative Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), cochair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, told Medscape Medical News, with rates of suicide, post traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injury rising in recent years, we must ensure we are doing everything we can to treat these invisible wounds of war.

We've learned that keeping soldiers who are already enrolled in PTSD treatment from dropping out is the most important strategy for improving outcomes.
"We've learned that keeping soldiers who are already enrolled in PTSD treatment from dropping out is the most important strategy for improving outcomes. This requires better matching of evidence-based therapies with patient preferences to improve engagement and a patient's willingness to remain in care," said Major Wynn in a recent release.

Treatment services need to be restructured for the 21st century, including creating multidisciplinary teams and placing a greater emphasis on outpatient services, group therapy, and computerized cognitive-behavioral therapy. A noted study published in 2011 in Military Psychology  reported key reasons for this lack of follow-through often include, mistrust of mental health clinicians, a belief that these types of problems can work themselves out on their own, and an overall belief that seeking treatment should be a last resort.
Please see our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.  The largest chapter is on suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Five ways to help those who are mentally ill, Part 2

Copy right All rights reserved, 2013

I have been interacting with the mental health system in the United States for twenty eight years.

I have been hospitalized as an inpatient for about 60 days. I have never been psychotic; and it is not my "fault" that I haven't. Once in 1986, I was hospitalized because my psychiatrist was worried that I had a brain tumor. They kept me for three weeks. Another time in 1991, while living in Florida, I had seventeen ECT (Electro-convulsive Therapy) treatments. That particular hospital stay was thirty two days. My last hospitalization was in 1998 and it lasted about a week. I had ECT as an inpatient and then had many more as an outpatient. The difference then was because of my insurance coverage and their rules.
Over all these years I have seen up-close and personally the way mental illness is treated, both evangelically and secularly.

But what about seeing mental illness from the other side of the clipboard?
I have been working as a mental health/professional/ pastoral counselor for many years. By the grace of God, Robyn and I have been able to help many mentally ill people and their families. We co-founded a non profit called Heartfelt Counseling Ministries. One of the purposes of Heartfelt is to advocate for the mentally ill. I am writing this blog as a plea for persons to do this very thing.

Five Ways to help those who have mental illness, especially those who know Christ as Savior.

This is a continuation of the first two ways which are in a separate blog.

3. Have an attitude of compassion. If you have no compassion for the mentally ill then please stay out of their way. They have a crushed spirit and there are many Scriptures that instuct us to be caring and compassionate with weakened people such as these. If you are a pastor, then you are directly exhorted biblically to help the suffering sheep. I have been treated with disdain by pastors and church members. It is very demoralizing and if it happens while I am in an episode of depression, it is like an officer in war shooting his own wounded soldier. There still are many "biblical counselors" who are not really biblical in their approach. They believe in a one-size-fits-all for the remedy of a depressed person. The Bible is certainly a book that does not teach such an easy remedy.

People who trouble the mentally ill are like a hacker's virus which upsets the highly tuned computer wreaking havoc on its system. Much of my ministry has been acting like effective antivirus software. It involves detecting the people who do not have compassion, and eliminating the damaging effect of the virus. I then seek to biblically restore the bruised reed and the wick which is almost snuffed out. My great example of doing this type of work is the Lord Jesus, Himself.

Oue Lord Jesus is our example.
    This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope, Matthew 12:20.

Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young Isaiah 4; 10, 11(ESV)

4. Have some knowledge of the Bible and mental illness. One way to understand these issues is to read our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel like You're Losing It. It was published by Kregel in 2005 and has had steady sales. Why? It has staying power. It is an informative, personal and biblical account of many types of mental illness. It has been read by the thousands and it also has an academic status with Kregel Publications. It is available in a number of electronic forms. If you want to know more about it, go to: http://books.google.com/books/about/Broken_Minds.html?id=HQAzGHfmdJUC

5.  Help mentally ill people get good treatment from a fragmented system. Where you live in this global village has been determined by the living God. Some countries have almost no system at all for the treatment of the mentally ill. In fact, there are a number of countries who are openly hostile toward Christians and after they throw them in jail, they certsainly do not give them antidepressants.
In the former Soviet Union in the 1980's they actually imprisoned evangelical pastors and forced them to take antipsychotic pills because these atheists did not believe in God and therefore the pastors were psychotic and delusional and needed psychotopic help.

The mental health systems in other countries have their strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is to know your system and then help the person(s) who has mental illness negotiate it. I have worked extensively as a mental health professional but I still find it difficult to get what I need from the system in the United States.

Insurance companies often try to deny services and can do this in in some very creative ways. I often hear complaints from those with depression, bipolar, etc. that their doctor or doctor's office staff can be very blunt and harsh with them and not even explain their actions. Pharmacists can be very helpful sometimes but some of them don't do anything to help either. In my own personal experience, the pharmacy techs are even worse. When the person is in an active episode of mental illness, you must be sure to help them with practically everything. Some need to have a ride to the doctor; some need help in setting up and obtaining important medications; many need for you to go in with them for their appointment and listen to what the doctor says to them and some need help from the very beginning in finding a good psychiatrist. The ways any sick person needs assistance vary of course, but mental illnesses can be so severe that the person has no volition, no strength, no will to even help himself.

Heartfelt Counseling Ministries has started a CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness) program. We have support group material for those who have mental illness; we also have groups in churches and recently we have started an exciting online group. All you need is a laptop computer and you can attend a group online. We will be starting more online groups as needed in various time zones.

In future blogs, I will spend more time explaining how to become a CAMI member and what that will mean to you and to others. In the meantime, if you suspect someone is struggling with mental illness or if you know they are, please reach out in kindness and help in any of the ways we have discussed.
 Please see our web site  http://www.heartfeltmin.org

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Five Ways to Help those who have a mental illness , Part 1

Copyright All rights Reserved, January 2013

Be in the know about what mental illness is.

1. Don't be ignorant! Please stop with the phrases like, loon, nut house, crazies, fruits, nutcase, etc. And realize that the rank and file of the media (I am not talking about good documentaries) often use these phrases and their movies hardly ever get it right.

A movie which got it all wrong

A good example is the movie, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest with Jack Nicholson. It is an excellent comedy-drama, artistically speaking, but it has forever seared into the minds of the watching public (in many countries as well as the U.S.A.) that there is nothing positive accomplished by going into a psychiatric hospital. The depiction shows a lobotomy, which in the U.S. (as far as I know) is long gone, and shows a violent, mentally ill person kill a psychiatric nurse. In a terrifying scene Nicholson's character is forced to submit to Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT). His character is not put to sleep, is tied to a chair, and a mouth guard of sorts is shoved into his mouth. He then is administered an electric shock and has strong convulsions which cause him to scream loudly. Actually ECT is considered the safest treatment for depression and other mental illnesses and the most effective. It also has the least side effects of all treatments; much less than oral medications. I have had many treatments. When you receive ECT you are given a muscle relaxant and anesthesia by an anesthesiologist and you feel nothing at all. Furthermore, the terrifying convulsions which a long time ago broke a person’s back now only cause one toe to slightly twitch. ECT was used to bring me out of a deep depression each time I received it. Please read more our story of mental illness which is a personal, biblical and technical recounting. Please go to the link below.

2. Pray for the mentally ill. Pray that there would be medical discoveries which will help better treat this horrendous illness. If you have mental illness, keep praying. You many not feel like it and you may feel guilty and negative but if you know Christ you can go through Him to the Father with boldness and confidence. I remember being so depressed with my concentration GONE, my hope almost lost and I was able only to pray from a prayer list. I kept the same prayer list and prayed through it every day. I could get some comfort from Scripture, but the Bible which I devoured daily up to that point was too difficult to read. So, I would write verses on a 3 X 5 card and try to meditate on one or two verses each day. God was with me, but I couldn't feel Him. Even though it is dark to you it is not so with God.
Here are some Scriptures on praying. Ephesians 3:12.. In whom we have boldness and

confident access through faith in Him. Romans 5:1-3..Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand ; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

If you wish us to pray for you or a family member who has mental illness please go to our website and click on the Contact Us form. You can also email me at bloemsteve@yahoo.com. and we will pray for you confidentiality.

If you would like to learn about our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It which is published by Kregel Publications of Grand Rapids, MI, please click on the link below:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Read about horrible deaths in Nigeria, our brothers and sisters

Picture, copyright, www.persection.com 

Thanks for opening this blog.

I don't care where you are from in this world, if you are a blood bought born again believer the suffering in Nigeria should move you to prayer.

Hebrews 3:3-- Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

I have a burden and a responsibility to obey the above scriptural command and if you are a born again believer, so do you! How does this fit into the purpose statement of Heartfelt? It is really quite simple--Mental Illness involves intense suffering and affliction, bereavement and loss wrench the believer’s heart which looks for relief and compassion. The persecuted church across the world is undergoing terror alarm and intense physical and mental pain.

I for quite a while begun to go to the Voice of Martyrs web site and also to their newsletter to specifically obey the exhortation in the above mentioned verse.

Thank you for keeping in touch with our ministry. We would appreciate your prayers as we extend a helping hand to the hurting.

God bless!

VOM-USA Prayer Update for January 11, 2013
On Thu. Jan 10 2013 at 03:17 PM Moderator wrote:
Nigeria--Another Deadly Christmas for Christians
Source: Release International

2 Samuel 22:3

At least 12 Christians were killed in Christmas Eve church
in northern Nigeria, and 15 others were murdered in their sleep
on Dec. 28. BokoHaram militants are suspected in both cases. On
Christmas Eve, gunmen opened fire during a time of  prayer at
 the Church of Christ in Nations in Jiri village,Yobe province, killing
five worshipers and the pastor. The attackers also set the church on fire,
 and several other   Christians were seriously injured. On the same 
night, a deacon andfive other Christians were killed at the First
 Baptist Church in Maiduguri, Borno state. Four days later, attackers
 invaded the
homes of Christians in Musari, outside Maiduguri, and slit the
throats of 15 Christians during the early morning hours. A number
of Christians had moved to the Musari area to flee violence in
Maiduguri. This is the third consecutive year that Christians
in the north have been violently attacked during the Christmas 
season. Churches in northern Nigeria were nearly empty on        
Christmas day.

Philippines--VOM Vehicle Struck by Bomb
Source: VOM Sources

Psalm 5:11

A VOM worker narrowly escaped injury on Dec. 26 when a

roadside bomb exploded directly in front of his vehicle.
The windshield and rear window were busted and the right
side of the vehicle received damage, but the VOM worker and
 passengers were unharmed. A motorcycle taxi driver in front
of the VOM truck was killed in the blast. The bombing is thought
to be related to ongoing violence by  Muslim separatists in the
Philippines. "Praise God for his protection,"wrote the worker.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front on the island of Mindanao        
recently signed an agreement with the Philippine government in
which the MILF was granted autonomy over more of the island.
However, the agreement has not stopped the violence. Christians are
 specifically targeted by the MILF and other Muslim extremists that
 seek to rid the region of non-Muslims.

Indonesia--Mob Attacks Christmas Procession
Source: Jakarta Globe

Micah 6:8

A long-beleaguered church in Indonesia faced harassment once again        

during their Christmas services. As members of the Filadelfia Batak
Christian Protestant Church (FBCP) walked toward their church
property during a Christmas Eve procession prior to the service, a mob
pelted them with eggs and other items. The FBCP's church property
was confiscated and sealed by local authorities several months ago,
 but the Supreme Court ordered authorities to stop sealing off the property.
Local officials have ignored the order. When the church again tried to
meet on Christmas day, attackers hurled excrement and bags of urine
 at the congregation.

VOM Project

During the Christmas holiday, an evangelist in Pakistan was accused

 of blasphemy. Because of the seriousness of the charge, he was forced
to flee the country for a short time. In the past, such charges have led        
to lengthy trials, imprisonments or both. Please pray for him and his family.

Please visit our web site, http://www.heartfeltmin.org



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Panic Attacks, Terrifying and Sudden







I believe that as it with many things, you cannot understand panic attacks, unless you have experienced them. When I was first depressed I had panic attacks and feelings of derealization.
   I thought and felt like I was losing my mind. Panic disorder is very treatable. I am on two       SSRIS (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibiters),Sertraline (Zoloft) and Fluvoxamine (Luvox).  My panic attacks are kept in check by these medications.  Panic attacks can lead to agoraphobia. People who are afraid of having a panic attack in public, sometime do not leave the relative comfort of their home. Agora -Phobia usually requires cognitive behavioral therapy. Steve Bloem

From John Hopkins

Anxiety is a common, normal and often useful response to life's challenges and dangers. But in people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, anxiety levels spin out of control, causing psychological and physical symptoms that interfere with normal functioning, appear even in the absence of obvious external stressors or are clearly excessive in the face of the stressors.

Researchers believe that anxiety disorders result from hyperactivity in certain areas of the brain, perhaps related to low levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is responsible for keeping activity levels of nerve cells in check.

Panic disorder. One of the five major forms of anxiety disorder is panic disorder -- sudden but short-lived attacks of terror and a fear of losing control.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 6 million adults (about 3 percent of adult Americans) suffer from panic disorder each year. It is twice as common in women as in men. One study estimated that only one in four people with panic attacks receive appropriate care.

Panic attacks begin without warning during nonthreatening activities. Affected individuals often go to the emergency room or consult a cardiologist because the physical symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack. Panic attacks generally peak within 10 minutes and dissipate within 20 to 30 minutes. They are characterized by some combination of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or a racing pulse
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or feeling faint
  • Choking, nausea or stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Trembling or shaking
  • A feeling of detachment from one's surroundings or a sense of unreality
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Fear of dying or losing one's mind
John Hopkins Hospital.

For an online panic assessment tool, please go to:

Heartfelt Counseling Ministries
4371 Northlake Blvd. Ste. 256
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
If you would like to read more about my personal encounter with panic attacks then you will need
to order our book, Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.  Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is having a sale right now.  Broken Minds retails $14.00 plus tax. I will give a signed copy or copies to you at cost + shipping.  My cost is $7.00. You send the check to Heartfelt Counseling Ministries, 4371 North lake Blvd., Suite 256, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Please visit our contact us page and confirm for us that you ordered it. http://www.heartfeltmin.org/#!contact/cito.
Heartfelt Counseling Ministries
4371 Northlake Blvd. Ste. 256
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
If you want to read more about the contents of Broken Minds, please go to http://books.google.com/books/about/Broken_Minds.html?id=HQAzGHfmdJUC
Discounts on larger orders our available.  Please email me at the above email or call us at 616.427.0775
Steve Bloem

Heartfelt Counseling Ministries
4371 Northlake Blvd. Ste. 256
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Please email me and tell me  by using the Contact Us form that you ordered it at camimovement@yahoo.com

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Aurora, Colorado, disaster, surviviors need time

Guest blogger Robyn Bloem
"I saw on the news this morning that some of the grief-struck parents are irate that the theatre where that "other" massive shooting took place in Aurora, CO is hosting a memorial for the families and offering tickets to go. They see it as a place of horror and do not want to return to that scene. They feel the gesture as insensitive and totally out of line. Then we have other families who return to "Ground Zero" in NY or go out on the open seas where a ship sunk to remember and lament. What is the difference? I think, for one thing, no two people react the same way AT THE SAME TIME and also, grieving is a prolonged period of ups and downs. Maybe these parents are just not ready yet or for the same reason that marriages are so strained after the death of a child; no one can do ANYTHING right or offer any remedy to the heart break. If this same theatre did nothing, that would be "wrong," too in the eyes of the grieving. I knew my friends were condemned if they did and condemned if they didn't. I was a total wreck of emotional inconsistency. Horrendous pain requires faithful, tough friends who love us anyway...I had a few of those and surprisingly enough, lost "friends" who left me in my solitude of sadness. Parental grievers don’t want to be a burden: we just are. And speaking for the sad and in honor of the hangers-on, we thank you. Don’t be too hard on these suffering families or on those who reach out and perhaps do the “wrong” thing. Death of a child is sticky business and we all go a little off our rockers!
Please go to our the link below and read more about our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, Kregel Publications.
Steve, Lindsay and Robyn Bloem


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Violence and the mentally ill.

 Jack Pinto and Noah Ponzer, who were victims
of a recent shooting in Conneticut, USA,

Copyright, all rights reserved, 2013
I was once asked, "Would you please assess the calligraphy writer?"

In light of the horrible tragedy that happened in Connecticut, I feel that it is necessary to make some comments about the subject of the mentally ill and violence.
I had worked many years for a non-profit mental health agency as  a clinical case manger. I was part of a multidisciplinary team that consisted of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and psychiatric nurses.
Threats were being made to the women who worked at the agency.
I was once asked by my clinical director to assess a man who had been writing letters in calligraphy describing how he was going to rape torture and kill the women who worked at the agency. The suspect was too smart to make specific threats and the safety committee which had very little experience felt that he was not a danger to the agency.
I was waiting for him to make a mistake and make more specific threats. Most states make it possible to petition the court for involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital if  the subject is a danger to self or others or can not take care of his basic needs.
As a mental health professional, my knowledge of the client that I was seeking to admit to the hospital had to have been  first hand knowledge, not hear-say.  Also, as a mental health professional, our state had a "duty to warn," that is, we had to warn the person in danger and tell them someone made a specific threat against them.  In ten years I only had this happen about three times and each time I telephoned the individuals and warned them of the threats. 
Something unusual happened in the case involving this "calligraphy writer." My wife and I were
working for a Christian organization to the homeless and the above mentioned man was part of a Bible Study. I was teaching this group in the apartment mezzanine where he and many other mentally ill persons lived. Two of our children were also coming with us to this study.

I went to the FBI because my wife was mentioned in the notes
As I kept getting these notes, one made me alarmed and worried.  This man had made some remarks in his calligraphy writings about my wife. The way he described the focus of his attention was very obvious to be Robyn. I could tell by the physical attributes he described and also by the way he highlighted her temperament.
At the time, although it may sound funny, I was watching the FBI Files every week on the television. I knew that there was a FBI office in our city, so I took the calligraphy notes to them and asked if I could see an agent. I explained to the receptionist why I was there.
An FBI agent came into the reception area and told me that he could only take the notes if he charged the man with a crime.  He then said, as a courtesy because my wife was mentioned in the notes he would advise me as to what he felt should be done.   I handed him the notes and he said, "I believe this man is very dangerous.  Your wife must be careful to not be too friendly or he will think that she is coming on to him."  He also said that she "must not be fearful or he would interpret fear as a weakness and thus become his prey."
Well so much for the safety committee.  I had already warned my wife and children to never be alone with this man.  I repeated the caution to them and I continued on at work and at the Bible Study.

He crossed the line- involuntary commitment moves forward.
In a few days, the client was more specific towards the women at the agency.  I went to court and testified that he was psychotic, and a serious danger to others.  The judge accepted this and gave an order that he be picked up by the police for an involuntary confinement in a psychiatric hospital.
I then went to the police station and described him, told them where he lived, etc.  They picked him up and took him to the hospital. He was required to take anti-psychotic medications and after a couple of weeks he was stable and was discharged from the hospital. He came to me and apologized for what he had said in the letters and actually thanked me for intervening.  Now this brings me to my next point.


I know what it is like to lose a daughter and her baby.  In our case the weapon used to kill them was a car and the perpetrator was a drug addict who was shooting up heroin and also doing crack and marijuana while driving.  Our daughter Lindsay was eight months pregnant and she and her husband has already named their baby Emily Hope. Lindsay was hit head-on when she was driving  home from a prayer meeting held at our church, on the evening of September 11, 2001.
At the court hearing I kept saying over and over again, "We are going after the terrorists over there {in Afghanistan} but what about the terrorists on the roads here in America?"
Now, I would like to make a few comments in regard to the violent mentally ill.

1. The violent mentally ill are a statistical rarity. A recent writer with the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) said this,
"Is violence more common in people with SMI? Yes, during an episode of psychosis, especially psychosis associated with paranoia and so-called “command hallucinations”, the risk of violence is increased. People with SMI are up to three times more likely to be violent and when associated with substance abuse disorders, the risk may increase much further.i But, mental illness contributes very little to the overall rate of violence in the community. Most people with SMI are not violent, and most violent acts are not committed by people with SMI. In fact, people with SMI are actually at higher risk of being victims of violence than perpetrators. Teplin et al found that those with SMI are 11 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.
The most common form of violence associated with mental illness is not against others, but rather, against oneself. In 2007, the most recent year for which we have statistics, there were almost 35,000 suicides, nearly twice the rate of homicides. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.Although it is not possible to know what prompted every suicide, it is safe to say that unrecognized, untreated mental illness is a leading culprit."

2. We should not wait until violence occurs to discuss the whole issue of mental illness.
People tend to care very little about the mentally ill until there is something newsworthy that may (or may not) involve a mentally ill person. Mental illness has become an accepted illness among many Americans. Obsta Principa or check the first symptoms is important when dealing with those of the mentally ill who indicate they may be violent.

3. PLEASE do not cause further suffering among the mentally ill because you somehow believe they are dangerous if they own a gun.
When was first depressed in 1985, I made the mistake of not getting treatment in a psychiatric hospital because I was afraid I would not be able to go pheasant and deer hunting.  I also had one occasion years later to brandish my shotgun to four criminals. They had come onto our property and were trying to extort money from my son and being abusive toward my wife.  I never pointed the gun at them. I was in my house when I racked a shell in the gun, and pointed it in the air and told them to get off my property.  They promptly did so without injury to either them or my family and I have never been psychotic.

4.  Mental health professional shoud do a risk assessment every time they treat a person who has suicidal and homicidal ideation.  Violence is not something you read about in the papers or see on the news.  It happens within a context of violence. If a duty to warn is warranted then it should be done.

5. Mentally ill people should be held accountable for their actions.

 I have seen psychotic grandmothers, take care of children in a safe and caring way. I have also dealt with cold hearted killers who were in the mental health system.  It is said alcohol and the mentally ill do not mix well. Our daughter Lindsay and grand daughter Emily Hope were killed by a drug addict.  He was charged with three 15-year felonies which run concurrently so the most he will serve is fifteen years. His behavior has been deplorable so he is still in prison but is married and has many rights and privileges that our daughter never had.

6.  What a horror for Newtown Connecticut!
I am thankful that the President is very concerned about these little ones. We should do more to protect them.

We must realize that the Lord Jesus Christ tells us in John 8:44:
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
We need to pray for revival in the land.  We need people filled with the Holy Spirit reaching out to others in their spheres telling them the good news of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please read more about mental illness in our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. It is available in Kindle, e-book, etc. Please go to: