On The 10th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me… Ten Lords A-Leaping

In Loving Memory of Joel Reuter

Nancy Groseth Reuter… Yes, we do need to fight stigma, but we have to realize that for a very small percent of people with mental illness, violence is a very strong possibility. These are the people who need our help the most. They should be our priority. The problem is, during an “episode,” most of them don’t even know they’re sick. They won’t go and get help voluntarily. My son was a perfect example of this. He had a great career, great friends, was a sweet, liberal, peace-loving guy who was anti-gun. But when he slipped into a bipolar episode, and the Mental Health Professionals wouldn’t treat him because he wasn’t dangerous, he began a traumatic, horrendous downhill slide which ended up with his buying a gun. This illness is so cruel and affects parts of the brain in such a way that you can become a very different and dangerous person. He died, being shot and killed by a SWAT team when someone thought he had shot out of his window. We have been traumatized by our ordeal of trying to get him help, and by the completely preventable way, he died and are trying to do what we can so that he did not die in vain. We’re just thankful that he didn’t hurt anyone. If he had survived and gotten treatment, he would have been mortified by the things he said and did while sick. HR2646 would be a great start to help fix our nation’s horribly broken mental health system.
Joel Reuter, holding a phone in one hand and a pistol in the other, on July 5th, 2013 — the day he was shot by police (Images: CHS)

Joel Reuter’s family pushes for change in mental illness laws


Ten Lords A-Leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God’s name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

(Lords were men with authority to command people’s obedience.)
Ten Lords A-Leaping symbolize God’s ten basic laws—

You shall have no other gods before me
Do not make an idol
Do not take God’s name in vain
Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy
Honor your father and mother
Do not murder
Do not commit adultery
Do not steal
Do not bear false witness
Do not covet