Mom's blog stirs up mental health awareness - CBS 5 - KPHO

Mom's blog stirs up mental health awareness

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Liza Long is a mom.  Her son has special needs and she said his violence, quite frankly, scares her.

"Anyone who knows him knows that 97 percent of the time he's just the sweetest, brightest, kindest, most articulate child. But sometimes, for no apparent reason, he just will turn into this absolute, raging, I don't know how to describe it," Long said.

Long wrote a blog titled, "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" about her experiences, noting a time her 13-year-old son threatened her with a knife and her younger children rushed to the car and locked the doors as part of the family's safety plan.

"I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me," Long wrote.

"Unfortunately all too real. You know, I get at least two or three calls a day from individuals and family members saying, 'Why do I have to wait until my child kills himself or somebody else before they can get treatment?'" said NAMI Arizona CEO Jim Dunn.

NAMI is the country's largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness.

"NAMI does free education, support and advocacy to individuals and families with lived experience," Dunn said.

Dunn will be the first to acknowledge the stigma attached to mental illness, but he'll also be the first to stress how important it is you ask for help.

"What I think we have to learn is we can't ignore troubling symptoms," he said.

What can you do?  NAMI offers free family and peer programs to help.  For more information, click here.

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