Andrew Solomon talks Adam Lanza, Violence and Mental Illness

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We were lucky to have Andrew Solomon as a panelist at Friday’s Honest Look at Mental Illness Forum. Leading up to the event, we told anyone who would listen that he was going to be a phenomenal panelist. He’s scary smart and has an uncanny ability to speak in fully formed, thesis-like paragraphs. Many in the audience discovered him that evening and told us how struck they were by his intelligence, compassion and articulate thoughts and stories.

In our latest Forum video (linked below) Solomon speaks about how and why we feel the need to classify violent people and acts as “crazy,” giving a short preview of the insights he gathered in profiling Peter Lanza, Newtown shooter Adam Lanza’s Father, for The New Yorker.

Watch the recent Forum video clip.


In the days after The Forum, The New Yorker released Solomon’s latest article, an exclusive feature on Peter Lanza. Solomon’s piece is a result of many conversations with Lanza; he is the only reporter to have had such extensive access and this article is the first we’ve heard from Lanza’s father.

Click to read the article.

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This past week Solomon has been, it seems, just about everywhere. He’s appeared on The Today Show, Katie with Katie Couric, BBC America, NPR Fresh Air and so much more.

Click to see Andrew Solomon on Katie.

Click to hear Anrew Solomon on NPR’s Fresh Air.

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Click to see Andrew Solomon on The Today Show. 

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Consider:

• Physical injuries such as concussions and knee injuries draw routine and widespread study by doctors and researchers, yet a dearth of information about athletes and mental illnesses exists.

• Though more than 450,000 students competed in college sports in 2011-12, no hard data are being collected on how many athletes are coping with psychological concerns.

• Athletic departments handle psychological concerns in very different ways, and at many schools, mental health resources are downright sparse when compared to those dedicated to the physical health of the athletes. Many athletic programs have medical staffs of more than a dozen people, yet fewer than 25 Division I athletic departments have a full-time licensed mental health practitioner on staff.

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An exploration of mental health issues in college athletics. 

Read the entire article, here

A powerful “Grantland” documentary chronicling the day of the 2012 NBA draft through the eyes of a potential draft pick, Royce White, who talks openly about his generalized anxiety disorder. 

Royce will be a panelist at the March 7 Forum, An Honest Look at Mental Illness

"My assortment of neuroses may be idiosyncratic, but my general condition is hardly unique. Anxiety and its associated disorders represent the most common form of officially classified mental illness in the United States today, more common even than depression and other mood disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, some 40 million American adults, about one in six, are suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder at any given time; based on the most recent data from the Department of Health and Human Services, their treatment accounts for more than a quarter of all spending on mental-health care. Recent epidemiological data suggest that one in four of us can expect to be stricken by debilitating anxiety at some point in our lifetime. And it is debilitating: studies have compared the psychic and physical impairment tied to living with an anxiety disorder with the impairment tied to living with diabetes—both conditions are usually manageable, sometimes fatal, and always a pain to deal with."

From the Atlantic's compelling December cover story on anxiety by Scott Stossel. 

Read the entire piece here

Do you think 6 hours, or even 24 hours, is enough time to diagnose and/or treat mental illness?

Do you think that you should have to sign your child over to DCF to extend their stay in a psychiatric hospital for more than 3 days?

These are questions that shouldn’t have to be asked, but point to a system totally and frighteningly unprepared for treating mental illness. 

Some things are NOT better left unspoken.

We will talk about these issues raised in the compelling 60 Minutes piece - and so much more - at An Honest Look at Mental Illness on March 7. 

A compelling read. 

We call this one either “The Gang Plans Martina Navratilova’s Wedding,” or “Dan Savage and Martina Navratilova on the Importance of Marriage Rights,” or “Dan Savage Says Marriage Can Be Any Damn Thing You Want it to Be.” No matter what you call it, it’s worth watching. Take a look!

(In fact, Upworthy thought this clip was worth watching too, and endorsed it here.) 

Celebrated gay advocates Dan Savage, Martina Navratilova, Bishop Gene Robinson and Jonathan Capehart answer the question “Is ‘Gaydar’ a real thing?” The consensus: it’s real, 70% accurate, but thrown off by Europeans and “dickful thinking.”

Savage, Navratilova and Robinson participated in a panel discussion about “Being Gay” at The Connecticut Forum on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Capehart moderated the discussion.

Dan Savage, outspoken activist and founder of the “It Gets Better” Project will be a panelist at the “Being Gay” Forum on October 5. He will join Martina Navratilova, Bishop Gene Robinson and Jonathan Capehart. 
Tickets here. 

Dan Savage, outspoken activist and founder of the “It Gets Better” Project will be a panelist at the “Being Gay” Forum on October 5. He will join Martina Navratilova, Bishop Gene Robinson and Jonathan Capehart. 

Tickets here

Looking forward to hearing Bishop Gene Robinson and the other panelists talk about this shift at the upcoming “Being Gay" Forum.