Mental Health Problems May Persist 15 Years After Newtown School Shooting


The scope of the psychological damage to children, parents, and others two years after the massacre at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School is clear, and the need for treatment is likely will persist, the Associated Press reports. Problems include anxiety, depression, guilt, sleeplessness, marital strife, drug and alcohol abuse. “Here it is two years later, and it’s still hard to deal with. But God, you didn’t want to know me two years ago,” said Beth Hegarty, a Sandy Hook mother was the school that day with her three daughters, all of whom survived.

With the second anniversary of the shooting rampage Sunday, agencies have been setting up a support system for the next 12 to 15 years, as the youngest survivors approach adulthood. Mental health officials say the demand for treatment is high, with many people reporting substance abuse, relationship troubles, disorganization, depression, overthinking or inability to sleep related to the Dec. 14, 2012, attack in which Adam Lanza shot 20 children and six educators to death before killing himself. Some problems are just coming to the surface. “We’ve found the issues are more complex in the second year,” said Joseph Erardi, Newtown’s school superintendent. “A lot of people were running on adrenaline the first year.”

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