Tag Archives: mental health

Lockdowns Caused 100 Percent Increase In Child and Teen Suicide?

Lockdowns Caused 100 Percent Increase In Child and Teen Suicide? – powered by ise.media

Children are 10 times more likely to die of suicide than coronavirus. New research on kids shows that self-harm and overdoses increased 91-100% over the past year.

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Investigators: WI Man Arrested for School Shooting Threat Contacted FBI 647 Times

Appleton, WI— An Appleton, Wisconsin man was arrested over the weekend after allegedly sending a school shooting threat to the FBI, following more than 600 other messages sent to the agency over the last two months.

On February 19th, David Etheridge, 23, was charged with one count of making a terroristic threat and ordered held on a $10,000 cash bond. Bond conditions include no possession of dangerous weapons, being no closer than 1,000 feet of a school and abstain from all mind-altering substances except those prescribed by a doctor, according to the Post Crescent.

The criminal complaint filed in the Etheridge case, obtained by Action 2 News, states that the FBI had received 647 messages from Etheridge through the agency’s tip line over the past couple months, largely consisting of expletives and “religious talk,” with the only message about a school shooting threat coming on Saturday. Etheridge’s arrest took place on February 17th, after the FBI alerted Appleton police that the bureau had received an electronic message threatening to “shoot up the school” – without any particular school being specified.

“Many of them were just repeated vulgarities,” Sgt. Dave Lund of the Appleton Police Department told WBAY. “Some of them were, the best I can describe, ramblings. Many that just indicated annoyance.”

Outagamie District Attorney Melinda Tempelis told the court that there was a significant number of concerns related to Etheridge’s mental health and public safety, including that he believes he is receiving subliminal messages from his television.

“Certainly, the behaviors that he has been exhibiting — the mental health piece combined with the threats — provide a significant safety issue to the community,” Tempelis said.

Etheridge’s public defender Robert Welygan argued that contacting the FBI more than 600 times was not a sign of someone who was a threat, but rather, someone who needs mental health treatment. “Based on the allegations in the criminal complaint, it appears there is a very strong need for treatment and the best treatment is available here in the community, as opposed to in a confined setting,” Welygan said.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Trump Did Not Make It Easier for Severely Mentally Ill People To Buy Guns]

Police noted that they found “numerous” electronic devices and four hunting rifles in a safe during a search of Etheridge’s residence, but clarified in a statment, “The rifles and ammunition were typical of the hunting rifles and amount of ammunition found in many residences in our state.” Tempelis said she was unaware if Etheridge had access to the combination of the safe.

Action 2 News reports that Etheridge said he felt people were trying to hurt him, and described an extremely isolated high school experience that involved classmates humiliating and picking on him.

“When asked if those feelings were the reason he made the comment about the school shooting, he said yes, but he has been feeling like he doesn’t belong for a very long time,” reads the complaint.

When he was asked about threatening to shooting up the school, Etheridge promised he would not, according to the complaint. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 28.

The arrest of Etheridge follows the FBI coming under heavy criticism after it was revealed that the FBI had not acted on a tip that Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz wanted to “kill people,” according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and there was the “potential of him conducting a school shooting.”

The FBI acknowledged that a person close to Cruz had contacted the FBI to express concerns about disturbing social media posts and erratic behavior, but that information was never forwarded on to the Miami FBI field office, and “no further investigation was conducted at the time,” according to the FBI’s statement.

“Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life,” an FBI statement admitted. “We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on Jan. 5.”

Reality Check: Trump Did Not Make It Easier for Severely Mentally Ill People To Buy Guns

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The latest mass shooting at a school in Florida is once again reigniting the debate over gun control and mental health.

But now the media headlines are blaming President Trump because, they say, he signed a bill that actually made it easier for people with severe mental health problems to get guns.

Is that true?

Let’s give it a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, police say, is the man responsible for gunning down at least 17 teenagers at a Florida high school.

We now know much more about Cruz’s background, which include a number of very disturbing reports of police calls to his home.

According to police records obtained first by CNN, police responded to Cruz’s home 39 times over a seven-year period.

Details about the calls to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office have not yet shown if all involved Cruz.

What do we know about the calls police were responding too? According to KTLA, those included calls of a “mentally ill person,” “child/elderly abuse,” “domestic disturbance” and “missing person.”

We also know that, according to the New York Times, “Last fall, a bail bondsman in Mississippi spotted a disturbing comment on his YouTube channel.”

‘Im going to be a professional school shooter.’

“The bondsman, Ben Bennight, took a screenshot and flagged the comment to YouTube.” And he even “left a voicemail message at his local F.B.I. field office alerting it to the comment.”

The name of the person who wrote that comment? Nikolas Cruz.

And there is more. ABC News reports that law enforcement sources say Cruz claimed “he heard voices in his head, giving him instructions” for the attack. And those “voices were described as ‘demons’.”

So to summarize, at this point it appears that Cruz very likely suffered from extreme mental health issues.

And yet, he was able to legally buy a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 .223, according to Peter Forcelli, special agent in charge of the Miami office of the ATF.

According to USA Today, “Federal law allows people age 18 and older to legally purchase long guns, including this kind of weapon. With no criminal record, Cruz cleared an instant background check via the FBI criminal database.”

According to the Gun Control Act of 1968, if somebody is “‘adjudicated mentally defective’ or has been ‘committed to a mental institution’,” he is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law.

Cruz had not been flagged by the proper authorities. So what was the response from the media?

That it is President Trump’s fault because, they say, he and the Republican Party have actually made it easier for people with mental health problems to buy assault weapons.

So is that true? Did the GOP pass, and then President Trump sign, a repeal of an Obama-era directive to keep guns out the hands of people with severe mental illness?

No, that’s not actually what happened.

What did happen?

HJ Resolution 40 was signed by President Trump on February 28, 2017, days after his inauguration.

According to the BBC, “It repealed an Obama-era rule that would have affected about 75,000 US citizens who are too mentally ill to handle their own disability benefits.”

The Obama measure covered those of “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

“It also ordered the US Social Security Administration, which administers benefits, to add these names to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”

And this is what media is jumping all over.

But what they are not telling you is the incredible groundswell of opposition to the this rule from at least 15 mental health organizations, including American Association of People with Disabilities. And even the ACLU led the charge against this measure, saying it was unconstitutional and wrong.

Wrong, because, according to the Seattle Times, about 2.7 million people currently receive disability payments from Social Security for mental health problems. Another 1.5 million have their finances handled by others for a variety of reasons, according to the LA Times.

Those reasons may have nothing to do with mental illness. And they, those 1.5 million people, are who would not be allowed to purchase a gun.

Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who studied how veterans with mental health problems managed there money, points out, “Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe.”

And the ACLU’s opposition letter rule states:

“We oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent. There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one’s Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence.”

So what you need to know is that the Obama-era rule allowed one federal agency, the Social Security Administration, to be judge, jury and executioner of whether millions of Americans can purchase guns, based upon whether some else handles their finances.

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old who has the police come to his home 39 times in seven years somehow goes unflagged.

At the 11th hour, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of the FBI and DOJ for mishandling tips about Cruz, stating “It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures.”

What will result from this investigation remains to be seen. But if legislation is created to protect against people with violent and dangerous mental health conditions buying guns, then it needs to be crafted in a way that actually works.

That’s Reality Check, let’s talk about it right now on Twitter and Facebook.

Oregon Shooting Suspect Identified; Obama Calls for Increased Gun Control

Following a reported deadly mass shooting on Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, the suspect has been identified and President Obama has begun to call for more gun control.

The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. Police reported that at least nine people were killed and seven others wounded before the suspect was killed in a shootout with police. Three pistols and an AR-style rifle were reportedly discovered at the scene.

The New York Times described Mercer as a “recluse” and a “withdrawn young man” who lived with this mother. Rosario Espinoza, a former neighbor, told the Times that Mercer’s mother would often complain that Espinoza’s children were playing too loudly and bothering her son.

Another neighbor, Julia Winstead, told the Times that at one point Mercer’s mother went around the neighborhood with a petition asking the landlord to exterminate cockroaches in her apartment because they bothered her son.

“She said, ‘My son is dealing with some mental issues, and the roaches are really irritating him,’” Winstead said. “She said they were going to go stay in a motel. Until that time, I didn’t know she had a son.”


Hours after the shooting, President Obama held a press conference where he said that he believes gun violence is “something we should politicize.” 

“We are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people,” Obama said. “We are the only country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months.”

Obama went on to criticize opponents of gun control, and said that “what has become routine is the response of those who oppose any kind of common sense gun legislation.”

“Each time this happens I’m going to bring this up,” Obama said. “Each time this happens I am going to say we can actually do something about it.”

Oregon mother says she threw her six-year-old from bridge

Jillian McCabe, mother of a six-year-old autistic boy, called the police in Oregon Monday night, saying she threw her son, London, from the Yaquina Bay Bridge near the Oregon coast.

After McCabe called the police, telling them about her crime, officers were dispatched to the area in search of McCabe and the body of London.  According to FOX News, the police found McCabe near the bridge and arrested her immediately on charges of aggravated murder, murder, and manslaughter.

The body of London was found floating in the bay near the Embarcadero Resort later Monday night.

“We’re all devastated, said London’s uncle, Andrew McCabe, according to NBC News.  “London was a good kid.  He loved hats.  And his dad… She took him for a walk and did what she did.”

Family members told reporters McCabe had recently suffered a mental breakdown after having to care for a non-verbal and autistic London while also having to face the death of her father and a health crisis which has left her husband clinging to life.

Her husband Matt, according to Sky News, was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had a mass on his brain stem.  McCabe had been seeking help on social media websites to support her and her family since Matt was the breadwinner of the family until his diagnosis.

Family members also said McCabe told them she had thought about harming herself from all the stress, but they never thought she would harm London.

Tanya McCabe, London’s great-aunt, said, “Jillian really struggled with her mental health and I know she was just out of her mind when this happened.”  She went on to describe how the family had sought to get psychiatric help for McCabe, but they were sadly inefficient.

McCabe is currently being held on $750,000 bail.

Scheduling an appointment with a Psychiatrist is not as easy as it sounds

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2014 – Nearly 93,000 licensed psychiatrists are listed in the United States, yet a new study conducted in several metropolitan U.S. cities found that it is very difficult to secure an appointment with one of them, regardless of insurance or ability to pay for services.

The study was conducted in Boston, Chicago and Houston and included 360 office that investigators, posing as patients in search of psychiatric services, reached out to. Investigators claimed to have health insurance or expressed a willingness to pay for the cost of care out of pocket in their phone calls, yet only secured appointments with around 25% of the doctors. Of appointments scheduled in the study, the average wait time for the first visit was a 25 day period.

Investigators made two attempts to contact each psychiatrist. Cold calls in the study found that 16% of the offices in the sample had incorrect listings with the major private insurer database. Nearly one third of the offices contacted failed to return the investigators’ phone calls.

The findings of the study confirm what many professionals and activists in the mental health community have known for quite some time, and that is that the mental healthcare system in America is inadequate.

According to the CDC, 25% of all Americans live with a mental illness, while nearly 50% of Americans will experience a mental disorder at some point in their lives. Yet, less than 40% of Americans receive the mental health services they seek according to a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Affordable Care Act of 2008 expanded mental health benefits to 32 million people by enforcing rules that forced private insurers to reimburse mental health services in the same manner as physical health care. However, this expansion of health insurance does not seem to have had any substantial impact on the availability of mental health care in the U.S.

Dr. J. Wesley Boyd, the senior author of the study and an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School spoke with WebMd concerning the study’s implications and stated, “One message from this is that having insurance, even good insurance, is not enough to guarantee that you can get the mental health care you need.”

Several contributing factors contribute to the lack of accessible mental health care in America. A 2013 study found that psychiatrists were less likely to accept private insurance than doctors in other fields. The study also found that psychiatrists accepted other insurance plans, such as Medicaid and Medicare at significantly lower rates than other doctors.

Access to psychiatrists is also very limited in many parts of the United States. A report in 2009 by the Center For Rural Affairs found that over 85% of the 1,669 federally designated “mental health professional shortage areas” were rural locations. The report stated, “Only in rural America did the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health find entire counties with no practicing psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers.”

The ability to meet with a doctor and develop a comprehensive plan to manage mental disorders is imperative for those who suffer from mental illness. The consequences of an individual not receiving treatment for mental illness in a timely manner can be staggering and include substance abuse, loss of job, homelessness and suicide. The risk of suicide increases 300% for those struggling with a mental illness according to the University of Washington’s School of Social Work.

“It’s all the more poignant for those who are profoundly depressed or anxious, because for them it may really be just too much to be able to make enough phone calls and endure all the hurdles in their way before actually being able to secure an appointment.” Boyd stated.

The collaborative care model is a practice that is gaining traction among professionals in the mental health community, the model “expands across the entire health care process, including diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, health communications, management, and support services, and allows families to make their own health care decisions.”

Many in the mental health care field believe this approach offers solutions for some of the problems plaguing the field. Former American Psychiatric Association president Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman stated in his Everyday Health column that the “collaborative care model could ensure parity for mental ailments that have been stigmatized for decades.”

Lieberman also stated, “Collaborative care can help solve the shortage problem. This approach brings together mental and physical health services for patients, so that psychiatric and primary care doctors are working in close coordination with each other and with care managers. The combination of better mental health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, an increase in accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, and long overdue national attention to mental illness mean this is a life-changing time for so many Americans who have been stigmatized and denied equality in health coverage and benefits.”

Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook & Twitter.

VIDEO: Family Releases Video of Man Being Killed by Fort Bend Officer (graphic)

Houston, Texas, May 10, 2014- On Wednesday the family of a man killed during a police shooting released video footage showing the final minutes of his life. The shooting occurred when Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office (FBCSO) deputies were responding to a 911 call on the evening of Nov. 4, 2013, at the home of Michael Blair.

Blair, who had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, was threatening suicide and had locked himself in a bathroom. When deputies arrived they first knocked on the bathroom door, asked Blair how he was doing, if he was dressed and to come out and speak to the officers.

The officer then told Blair that if he didn’t open the door he would kick it in.

“Michael? You want to do this the easy way, don’t make us do it the hard way,” the officer could be heard saying on the video.

Another officer then picked the door lock and opened it slightly before yelling, “He’s got a knife” prior to Blair slamming the door closed.

During the confrontation Blair was struck numerous times with a stun gun, but refused officers commands to drop the knife. The final seconds of the video show Blair stumble towards the bathroom doorway as a deputy yells at him to stop, at which point the officer begins to fire his weapon repeatedly.

It remains unclear from the footage whether Blair was coming at the officers intentionally or tripped on the bathtub wall.

The video shows that the deputy fired his weapon 11 times, continuing to shoot even after Blair had fallen to the ground. Inconsolable screams from family members can be heard in the background.

Quanell X a local community activist, along with several of Blair’s family members and others, held a press conference in Houston on Wednesday, May 7, where they gave the video to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson’s office, representing Texas’ Southern District.

The Blair family, prior to calling 911, had called a mental health hospital asking for assistance and was told by the facility to call 911. Speaking for the family, Quanell X said the family reluctantly did so.

“They didn’t want to call the police, because they were concerned that if the police came they would not handle the situation accordingly, and it would have a dreadful outcome,” said Quanell X, adding, “So they continued to call, and then they were told again, ‘call 911.’ The worst thing they ever did was call 911 to help their loved one who was suffering a mental health breakdown.”

Quannel X called the shooting “nothing less than a cold-blooded execution,” going on to state that, “This tape shows a cold-blooded killing of a young man who was in dire need of mental health therapy. The man needed a prescription, not a bullet. “

He said the tape was only now released to “expose” the officers seen in the video. He went on to state that the family will be pursuing a civil suit over Blair’s death.

He also said the family wants the FBI to undertake a full investigation, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kimberly Blair Olaniyai, the mother of Blair, said she wants people to know that she has forgiven the officer that shot her son.

“We want him to live a long life, so he will always remember my son and how he murdered him in that bathroom that day. My son did not deserve 11 shots to his head, and we have to find out from the media how many times he was shot in that bathroom. Even though we heard the shots ring out, we didn’t know. All that we’re asking is that someone recognizes what we recognize. That was brutality at its finest in that bathroom that day,” said Olaniyi

FBCSO spokesman Bob Haenel said the Sheriff’s Office couldn’t comment on the Internal Affairs investigation, or the shooting video, as the FBCSO hadn’t received a copy.

At the time of the shooting the FBCSO was in the process of creating a crisis intervention team and training its deputies on how to deal with mental health problems. Haenel said the 10-member team is now operational.

Follow Jay on Facebook and on Twitter @SirMetropolis