Shootings expose cracks in US mental health system

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Last week’s fatal shooting at a Minneapolis sign company may be just the latest example of a family that fell through the cracks in the U.S. mental health system.

The shooter, Andrew Engeldinger, had been growing paranoid and experiencing delusions. His family pushed him to seek treatment to no avail. Minnesota law doesn’t allow people to be forced into treatment without proof that they are a threat to themselves or others.

While few people with mental illness commit acts of violence, the challenges of securing successful treatment and the catastrophic consequences of failure are common threads that often link such outbursts.

Engeldinger was never formally diagnosed, and it can take years before patients commit to a prescribed treatment. But experts say efforts to help can lead to success and recovery.

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