Could Jared Loughner Have Received Mental Health Care if Colleges Screened All Students? | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Could Jared Loughner Have Received Mental Health Care if Colleges Screened All Students?

Comments (0)


Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 2:23 PM
click to enlarge jared_laughner_booking.JPG

From everything that's been reported so far about Jared Loughner, there's little indication that any of his often erratic or troubling behavior - being fired from several jobs, turned down for military service, or incidents at his junior college that led to him being kicked off campus - sparked any formal attempt to evaluate his mental stability.

But a medical researcher at Northwestern University says that shouldn't be the case and that all college students should be screened for depression when they visit a university health center, even if it's just for the common cold.

"Depression screening is easy to do," Michael Fleming, a professor of family and community medicine at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, told ScienceDaily. "We know it works, and it can save lives."

Fleming recently completed a study screening for depression in students who visit campus medical centers for routine care. He found that one out of every four or five students who go to their school health care providers are depressed, but that most schools don't know this because they don't look for it.

Flemming calls it a missed opportunity.

"If we screen, we can try to find every student that is depressed," he has said.

The process for screening students, argues Fleming, is simple. He says that students could answer a short, seven-question mental health form that campus doctors could then immediately enter into the student's electronic health record.

The form would only take about a minute to fill out and could go a long way to helping students in need get mental health help. The university doctor or nurse could talk to students who say they're sad or depressed, says Fleming, and could give students a referral for mental health treatment.

As for those who argue that students would just lie on the form, Fleming has said that his study shows that, "Students will tell you the truth. If they are sad and depressed, they will tell you that."

Whether a plan such as this would have effected Loughner is impossible to know. And of course an idea such as Fleming's would need to be weighed against students' desires not to have to fill out any more annoying paperwork, but still, at a time when the country seems to be searching for answers and solutions, there could be something to it.

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Dorian Nakamoto Is Crowdfunding His Fight Over Newsweek's Bitcoin Article

    Almost as soon as it appeared, a March Newsweek article that called L.A's own Dorian "Satoshi" Nakamoto "The Face Behind Bitcoin," faced questions about its veracity. See also: Language Doesn't Point to L.A.'s Satoshi Nakamoto as Bitcoin Inventor Chief among the critics was Nakamoto, who said the piece was downright wrong:...
  • LAPD Moves to Fire Frank Lyga Following Racially Charged Remarks

    Controversial Los Angeles Police Department Det. Frank Lyga, whose racially charged comments to a police training class prompted his bosses to send him home with pay, was recommended for termination by the LAPD's Board of Rights this week, a police official said. The ball is now in the court of...
  • John Deasy Might Run For Public Office

    Newly freed from the shackles of running the second largest school district in the country, former LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy took part in a conference call this morning, answering reporters' questions for the first – er, second, if you count his Morning Edition interview he did earlier. See also: LAUSD...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets