'This Week' Transcript: After the Tragedy


MUIR: Thank you for your honest voice this week. And I wanted to go back to Lynn who lives across the street from the Loughner family. I know it's been a very difficult week for you --

RIACH: Yes, it has.

MUIR: -- and this is the first time you're talking and we do appreciate it. I wonder -- living across the street and with that vantage point, if you now look back and say there were signs.

RIACH: I wish that I would have had more courage to have said more to his parents to help him better because he did kind of walk around our neighbor without acknowledging anyone.

MUIR: One of the things that struck me. You spoke of the music. You said there was once beautiful music coming from that house.

RIACH: Yes, there was. About four years ago and a couple of years before that, Jared played in a jazz band and I just loved sitting in my house listening to that music come out of the house. And something changed.

MUIR: And there was a change, you said. The family --

RIACH: There was a change.

MUIR: -- stopped talking to the neighbors and you tried to find out if it was something you or the neighbors had done. And when you asked the family, what was the answer?

RIACH: There was no answer. I was just glared at and turned a back on.

AMANPOUR: Dr. Laura Nelson's with you, David.

MUIR: And I suppose the next question would be for those who did know of the law, how easy is it to pick up that phone and is this a lesson for us all to take advantage of one of the safeguards that we've now learned is, in fact, in place?

DR. LAURA NELSON: Yes, it's absolutely a lesson for all of us. You talked about you wished you had had the courage. You recognized years ago that something had changed. And I think that's what we need to be focusing on now as a state and really as a country that there are opportunities to recognize signs and symptoms much earlier to the extent that you don't need to pull in law enforcement or necessarily call out a crisis team.

If we can engage the community into recognizing that mental illness is just like any other chronic physical condition, like diabetes or emphysema. It doesn't happen overnight. It is a gradual, progressive process and the earlier we identify those signs and symptoms, we engage this individual in communication and discuss what the options are, the better opportunities we have to get them into treatment voluntarily to get assistance and get help that they need.

MUIR: Christiane?

AMANPOUR: Let me turn to you, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz/Is there something state leadership, national leadership can do about this mental health issue.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: There is, absolutely. This is not a gap in law enforcement. We have a tremendous gap in coverage for mental health care.

And, you know, as we turn in the next week back to the debate over health care reform -- Tuesday and Wednesday there will be a debate in the House over the proposal to repeal health care reform. And one of the things that we have an opportunity to discuss and debate, which has been highlighted as a result of this tragedy, is that in the health care reform law there is a provision that would develop a mental health basic benefit as part of the minimum benefits that everyone would have covered in their health care insurance plan.

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