Regarding your recent editorial on the Columbia Mall shooting, it is vitally important that people not remain silent but intervene to get a mentally disturbed people into treatment ("With no warning," March 16).
The recent Columbia Mall shooting should remind us that, since the Newtown massacre, there have been 44 additional shootings just in schools. Scientific research shows that how the media report on suicide, especially in school-age children, can inadvertently spread the idea — particularly if the coverage is sensationalized.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has guidelines for how to report suicides to minimize their effect on those rare individuals who are already on the edge and who have the potential to imitate these heinous behaviors.
We urge the media to study the guidelines for responsible reporting in order to make each tragic incident an opportunity for education about how mental illness is treatable and how early intervention can avert catastrophe.
Dr. Mark Komrad, Towson
The writer is a psychiatrist and author of You Need Help: A Step-by-Step Plan to Convince a Loved One to Get Counseling.
To respond to this letter, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and contact information.