Police Report: Illinois shooter recently off meds.

A fuller picture begins to emerge of Steven P. Kazierczak, the young man identified as the gunman in a shooting spree that left five victims dead before shooting himself. CNN reports that Kazierczak had recently gone off his medication and had begun exhibiting erratic behavior.

Keeping in mind the sensitivity around such issues, we would like to help frame a discussion about mental health and meds by offering this commentary produced a few years back by former Youth Radio student and producer Belia Mayeno.

When I finally made the decision to go on anti-depressants and mood stabilizers a few years ago, there was a part of me that was sad to say goodbye to those vivid highs and lows. Before, I could concentrate on drawing for 10 hours straight and emerge with an amazing picture that didn’t even look like it came from my hand.

Educators looking to broach the topic with their students can access materials for the May 2006 News Break “Map of My Mind” that can aid in classroom discussion about these sensitive issues.

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