"People undoubtedly will [and should] look at, among other things, the roles that violent video games, current gun legislation, mental illness and ease of access to mental health care can all play. But the fact of the matter is that most individuals with psychiatric disorders and most young men who play violent video games do not engage in acts of violence," Rego said.
None of this means that parents, schools or mental health care workers should relax their watch over "at-risk" kids or young adults, experts said.
Parents may find it tough to admit that their child has a mental health issue, but getting a child to early treatment is key. "That's difficult for parents to do," Dr. Sandro Galea, chair of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, told ABC News.
"I think it's tough to wrap your head around your kids needing treatment for anything, but we may be even more reluctant to accept the notion of mental illness," he said.
Liza Long, who has a 13-year-old son she says "terrifies" her, caused a firestorm of reaction this week with an article published on her online blog called, "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother." In the article, she described in painful detail her son "Michael's" violent outbursts and difficulties in getting him treatment.
"This problem is too big for me to handle on my own," she said in the article.
Teachers and other school staff remain key players in spotting troubled kids and guiding them to care, but most are not mental health professionals. "Schools cannot prescribe treatments, nor should they," Galea said.
Indeed, the Washington Post reported Monday that officials at Lanza's high school had assigned him a permanent psychologist during his freshman year of 2007, as well as informing the school's chief of security about the boy.But Richard Novia, the director of security at the Newtown School District at the time, told the Post that the concern was for Lanza's safety, not the safety of others.
"At that point in his life, he posed no threat to anyone else," Novia said. "We were worried about him being the victim or that he could hurt himself."
Getting a child with mental illness the care he needs can be a "cumbersome" process, as Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chair of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, told CBS News.
He said that even if a person announces specific plans to cause harm, a doctor would need to call law enforcement and fill out reams of paperwork to help contain what may or may not be a real threat.
"In one way, you've got to protect the confidentiality and rights of patients, [on] the other hand, we have a duty to protect society," he said. "Right now, the balance is tipped in favor of the individual against the interests of society."
There's more on mental illness at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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