With all the publicity and excitement surrounding the miraculous return of Elizabeth Smart, it seems preposterous that very little has been said about Brian Mitchell's mental illness. This horrible ordeal has had a happy ending for the Smart family, and we all rejoice with them.
Yet anyone who has had any personal contact with someone suffering from a serious brain disorder recognizes immediately that Brian Mitchell is a very sick man. He has done some despicable things, but the tragedy is that these acts could have been prevented had he received appropriate medical treatment a long time ago.
Some are fortunate in that they seek treatment themselves, but the majority of these individuals do not even recognize their disorders. Before we condemn Brian Mitchell unmercifully, we ought to condemn our own lack of understanding and the way we treat those with mental illness.
Wanda I. Allen