December 13, 2013

"I Am Adam Lanza's Mother"

Liza Long

Marcia Franklin talks with Liza Long, the Boise author of "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother," a blog post that was eventually read by millions of people around the world. Long wrote the piece hours after the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on December 14, 2013.

In it, she expressed her fears about her teenage son "Michael," who has a mental illness and has physically threatened her. The essay was a plea for help for him and for Long, who had struggled to get him services.

Originally titled "Thinking the Unthinkable," the post was picked up by The Blue Review, a journal published by the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs at Boise State University, and renamed "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother," a phrase Long used in her piece. The Huffington Post then re-published it.

Thousands of people have now commented on the piece - some identifying with Long's fear of her son and her frustrations seeking treatment for him, and others berating her for discussing his personal life so openly.

Franklin talks with Long about the reaction to the piece and about the past year, during which she testified before a Congressional committee, appeared on numerous television programs (including a PBS NOVA documentary), gave a TedX talk in San Antonio and wrote a book tentatively titled The Price of Silence, which will be published in 2014. The book describes the latest research into the causes and treatments of mental illness, as well as the stigma surrounding the subject.

The two also discuss the current needs for children's mental health services in Idaho. Long sits on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Region 4 Subcommittee on Children's Mental Health.

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