Jared Loughner Tried as Mentally Unstable
Tucson disaster preventable if nation reduced stigma of
mental illness, with help from Glenn Close's organization
Bring Change 2 Mind
The recent massacre in Tucson, Arizona has drawn attention to various precursor events in Jared
Loughner’s life that might have shed light as to the cause of Saturday’s shooting. Mental illness has its
roots in this fatal event that wounded 14 and killed six, but if it weren’t for the nation’s stigma on
such diseases this disaster might have been prevented.
Loughner’s criminal defense team is guaranteed to raise the concern of the young man’s mental
stability. Like in so many cases before it, had those surrounding him been capable of reducing the
stigma of mental illness in which clear-cut cases revealed, this would have been an entirely different
The trial will begin with determining whether Loughner is fit to stand trial. While in real-life cases and
those portrayed in the media, too often those mentally unstable are released into the cares of a
psychiatry facility. Five times Academy Award nominated actress Glenn Close has another idea.
Her non-profit organization, led in part by her sister Jessie Close who is bipolar, focuses on reducing
the stigma of mental illness. The pair, along with a handful of other friends and family members,
began the race to reveal such mental illness misconceptions just over a year ago. With the help of the
Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF), Fountain House and Garen & Shari Staglin of IMHRO,
the group took over Grand Central Terminal in August to get their message out.
The final message of the Public Service Announcement says “change a mind about mental illness, and
you can change a life;” that message couldn’t be more clear come Loughner’s hearing.
“It’s the condition of being a human being, and I think it’s time that we accept that,” Close said during
a Bring Change 2 Mind event in San Diego last year, “and that we start being able to talk about it
without shame, without fear, without censure. It’s possible, and I think people need to know who’ve
experienced, like my sister, to balance your meds and manage your illness because that’s not who you
Will the jury take this case, if the trial proceeds as expected?