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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "Kentucky [and Indiana] families struggle to care for violent, mentally ill children"

A very long, and chilling, story today in the Louisville Courier Journal, authored by Laura Ungar. Here is a quote:

The Davieses are among the uncounted families in Kentucky, Indiana and across the nation desperately struggling to care for violent, mentally ill children — and they fear they are losing the battle.

They see their lives all too closely reflecting bits and pieces of the terrifying outcome in Newtown, Conn., where 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who media reports say had sensory-integration disorder and was under his mother’s care, went on a shooting rampage in an elementary school that left 20 students and six staff members dead.

Although people with mental illness commit only 5 percent of all violent crimes, according to a 2006 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, experts and advocates say consistent, appropriate treatment is essential to curbing such violent outcomes. And too often, family members say, the treatment their mentally ill sons or daughters receive is neither.

“Every one of us is Adam Lanza’s mother. We understand where Adam Lanza probably came from, and nobody’s listening,” said Cynthia, who lives with her husband and daughters in a log home in rural Western Kentucky. “There is no help. Parents try to get help. They don’t want to see their kids hurt someone.”

See also this related March 9th story, reported by Marisa Kwiatkowski of the NWI Times. The headline: "Indiana mother, son recall tortuous journey to secure mental health services." The long story begins:
When R.D. Riley was 3 years old, his therapist told him he would become a mass murderer, the boy and his mother recall.

R.D. was kicked out of nearly a dozen schools and programs by the time he was 5. The Batesville, Ind., resident's mother said a special education director told her it was a waste of time to bring R.D. to school because he couldn't learn.

By age 6, R.D. said he was hearing demonic voices that told him to harm his parents. So he did. R.D. stabbed his mother multiple times and hit his father in the head with a flashlight, said R.D.'s mother, Kathy Riley.

Riley said she tried desperately to find solutions to her son's violent behavior, but no one would listen. She said R.D.'s negative behavior continued to escalate as officials either dismissed her concerns or blamed his behavior on bad parenting.

A Times' investigation published last year found a multiagency failure to provide intensive services to some children with severe mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. Children who do not receive needed services may enter the court system as juvenile delinquents or children in need of services.

R.D. was once one of those children. He became a child in need of services in 2001 after Kathy had him arrested to help gain access to mental health services. She believed it was her only choice.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 17, 2013 02:42 PM
Posted to Indiana Government