This is What Remains of a Shattered Mental Health System in Newtown. Could it Have Helped Adam Lanza?

I wrote in a previous post  about what life was like growing up in Newtown, Connecticut. It truly is a picturesque New England town. But what might be surprising is that within that town sat a gem. A hundred acres of wooded rolling hills within which sat an inner campus of professionally landscaped and meticulously manicured grounds  crowned with stately and handsome brick buildings in a colonial architectural style.  These were the grounds of Fairfield Hills Hospital, a state run mental health facility located in Newtown, about 3 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School. The hospital closed its doors in 1995.

To tell the tale of Fairfield Hills Hospital is to tell a tale of two nations. The first, a new economic and financial superpower, a country with an increasingly aspirational middle class toiling in a system that rewarded their hard work with a level of wealth and a standard of living never seen before in human history.  The second, a country struggling to balance the opposing pressures of a demographic bubble and crushing debt levels the likes of which have also never been seen in human history. Continue reading “This is What Remains of a Shattered Mental Health System in Newtown. Could it Have Helped Adam Lanza?”

Sandy Hook Elementary, Where I Chipped My Tooth on the Jungle Gym.

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Sandy Hook Elementary school will always be the place were I chipped my tooth on the jungle gym, the place with huge skylights in the ceilings, wide curving hallways filled with happy children and wonderful teachers. The firehouse was the place where parties and receptions were held. My heartbreaks for my Newtown. Be at peace children.

Written by my  brother, Ajith Ramachandran, who attended Sandy Hook Elementary School. We all grew up in Newtown, CT, where my mother still lives. It is a beautiful small town filled with wonderful memories for us. I attended St. Rose elementary school a few miles up route 6. I always remember Newtown as a safe place where people looked out for each other, but maybe that’s just nostalgia. As children we rode our bicycles all over town. The streets were narrow and hilly, meandering through thickly forested  land. In the summer it was dense forest filled with creeks and thick brush. Winters brought snow covered hills that were great for sledding. For a child, it was a wonderland waiting to be explored. The firehouse at Sandy Hook Elementary was a common meeting place to host functions, and my favorite was spaghetti dinners to raise money for kids activities. Nowadays I still look forward to bringing my kids back to Newtown to visit grandma and see a part of nature that they would otherwise never experience living in a suburban subdivision. A part of me will always be in Newtown, and it will always be home.