Letter of the Day (Oct. 18): Adults in crisis

  • Updated: October 17, 2012 - 9:22 PM

Families should intervene? It's not as simple as that.


Six people died and two others were wounded last month when a disgruntled worker open fire at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis.

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Regarding the arrest of Linda Hamm, the 62-year-old Maple Grove woman with alcohol and cognitive issues who hit and killed an Andover woman ("Workhouse, treatment for driver in death of pedestrian," Oct. 16), a relative of the victim stated that "it could have been prevented with some common-sense intervention."

Say what? Family members who are concerned about their troubled spouse, brother or sister, adult child or their proud elderly parents in decline are limited in what they can do to prevent tragedy, as the parents of Andrew Engeldinger, the shooter at Accent Signage, are well aware ("World of delusion," Oct. 14).

Adults in crisis have rights, and as long as such people are law-abiding, families are hard-pressed to try to limit those rights. When they do seek help, it can become daunting. The frustration, the confusion, the precariousness and threatening situations that can ensue are enormous barriers for family members.

Often the disturbed or addicted person requires a move to a hospital, assisted-living facility, halfway house or treatment center, and the situation involves social workers, the cops, courts and lawyers. It's complicated and can be extremely costly. Blaming and judging others is easy, but understanding what family and friends are up against is difficult.

There are no easy answers, and when tragedy hits, there certainly are no winners.


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