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Tag: Mental Health

DCF Post-Newtown Mental Health Recommendations May Put Children at Risk

In response to the 2012 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), last Friday, unceremoniously unveiled its plan to overhaul the state’s mental health system for children.

The ten-page draft report provides no specific details about the shooting at Sandy Hook and, worse still, provides no substantiating information that the shooter, Adam Lanza, lacked mental health services. This is of interest as the “draft” report – DCF’s recommendations – focuses on “early identification and intervention” of children.

The implication, of course, is that the shooting could have been avoided had Lanza received appropriate mental health services. The problem with using the Sandy Hook Shooting as the impetus for these state-wide mental health changes, is that Lanza did receive mental health services from a very early age.

While the state has refused to release any detailed information about Lanza’s mental health treatment, the investigative record clearly reflects Nancy Lanza’s early, and continuous, efforts to provide to Adam mental health treatment. In fact, Lanza was “treated” at the Yale Child Study Center – which, coincidentally, also took a leading role in drafting these recommendations.

Given the documented problems Nancy Lanza experienced with the Yale Child Study Center, after reporting adverse psychiatric drug reactions Adam was experiencing, Ablechild is concerned about the conflict of interest in having Yale participate in any mental health recommendations.

In fact, Ablechild would argue that it is a conflict of interest for any of the “stakeholders” who may benefit financially from any of the recommendations and would suggest that the complete list of “stakeholders” be made publicly available before any funding is appropriated.

Ablechild also is concerned that DCF strategies include training on infant mental health competencies. Psychiatric diagnosing is completely subjective – not based in science – and, therefore, is dependent on verbal responses, making the psychiatric diagnosing of infants questionable at best.

Because the DCF recommendations revolve around “early identification and intervention” and much of the focus is to train school personnel in the identification of mental illness, Ablechild has put together a list of recommendations that it believes are not only appropriate, but necessary in the face of DCF’s sweeping mental health recommendations.

  • Restore Informed Consent to parents, including the full disclosure about the subjectivity of psychiatric diagnosing and the dangers associated with recommended psychiatric drug “treatments.”
  • Dismantle the Behavioral Health Oversight Committee, which is heavy with vendors appointed by Governor Malloy, and eliminate the “stakeholder” monopoly. There are too many conflicts of interest among those who will profit from the recommended changes.
  • Restore speech, language and educational evaluations as the first and most important behavioral health evaluation on point of entry.
  • Fully fund the 2001 law to track the number of children prescribed psychiatric drugs within the state mental health care system and make it publicly available.
  • Increase and fund access to natural and alternative mental health treatment.
  • Set up investigative committee to track children within state care who are solicited into drug clinical trials.
  • Make public all medical/mental health records of children who died while in state care to insure accountability.
  • Require complete toxicology tests in all suspected suicide deaths of children in state care and make findings publicly available.
  • Make available to all parents of school-age children the ability to “opt-in vs opt-out” of mental health screening.
  • Require DCF staff and all state mental health care professionals be educated in the FDA MedWatch System.

Too much of DCF’s mental health recommendations for the state’s children revolve around increased identification and “treatment,” with no discussion of alternatives to dangerous and potentially deadly side effects of psychiatric drug “treatments.” There is too much at stake to allow these all-encompassing recommendations without some kind of public disclosure of the large numbers who certainly will be affected.

It’s bad enough that the drive for increased mental health services is based on the shooting at Sandy Hook, which, to date, no publicly available information to support the need for the increased services has been provided. But forcing parents to submit their children to mental health screening, without providing all information about the potential dangers is adding insult to injury.

Short of implementing the necessary safeguards that Ablechild recommends, parents and children in Connecticut may be subjected to unnecessary and even harmful mental health services and may border on human rights violations.

 

 

 

 

 

Newtown Massacre & The Courant’s Endorsement of McKinney

According to the August 2nd article in the Hartford Courant titled McKinney Over Foley in Republican Primary for Governor, McKinney is the paper’s choice to remain in the Capitol because, among other things, in immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook, McKinney voted for the controversial and intrusive gun safety bill.

The Hartford Courant has thrown its endorsement to McKinney because the Senate Minority leader ignored the Republican base and voted with the Democrats where, “he could engage in the process and try to influence the drafting of the law.”

It is unclear how McKinney influenced that legislation and, actually, it would be of some interest to the voters to know what specific role McKinney played in crafting the sweeping legislative language. While the gun restrictions are repugnant to many, Ablechild is more concerned about the other legislative measures included, specifically the costly increases in mental health services forced on taxpayers.

Recall that the legislation in question was hurriedly passed with little or no public input. More importantly, the investigative report on Sandy Hook had not been completed at the time of the vote and, therefore, lawmakers, including McKinney, literally were writing legislation based on the passions of the moment, not on supporting data.

In fact, a year-and-a-half later, there still is no data to support the costly mental health measures passed in that legislation. There is no publicly available evidence that Adam Lanza lacked mental health services. Frankly, there is no information publicly provided about Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment after 2007 – five years prior to the shooting. Is this information not important to McKinney or even the Courant?

Given the obvious lack of information about Lanza’s mental health, does it not seem irresponsible that lawmakers, including McKinney, would rush the passage of costly mental health legislation? After all, there is a projected $1.4 billion deficit next year. How much of this deficit includes the newly passed increased mental health services?

Ablechild appreciates McKinney’s experience and could have used his “influence” when it sued the state for the release of Adam Lanza’s medical/mental health records and toxicology report. But there was no support from McKinney or any lawmaker. There was no, nor is there any, interest on the part of lawmakers to obtain any data about Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment leading up to the shooting.

Yes, McKinney’s 15-years of experience is helpful, but how effective is that experience if those legislative efforts are not based in documentable necessity? One cannot help but wonder how many other legislative measures were passed with McKinney’s “influence” that were based on zero supporting information?

For that matter, one has to wonder why the Hartford Courant, clearly aware of the lack of documentation regarding Adam Lanza’s mental health, continually fails to address this point. Additionally, is it not odd that, prior to the release of the investigative report, the Courant was all over the shooting at Sandy Hook but has failed to report on investigative details that scream for answers.

Specifically, is the Courant not interested in the oddity of the envelope found in the Lanza home, addressed “for the young children of Sandy Hook Elementary” and, of which, the DNA of a known offender in New York was obtained. Is the Courant not interested in what information was contained in the stamped, addressed envelope? Is there no interest by this reporting entity as to how this piece of evidence found its way into the Lanza home?

It’s one thing for lawmakers to ignore investigative material, but when a leading press organization blatantly fails to report on important investigative details, the people of the state truly are not being served.

 

Interview on Mental Health Recommendations in Gun Bill PA 13-3

Sheila Matthews

Sheila Matthews is co-founder of AbleChild. Matthews was the first mother to testify on behalf of the first state Law prohibiting school personnel from recommending psychotropic drugs. Matthews advocated to remove dangerous antidepressants from use on foster care children/wards of the state of Connecticut and was instrumental in providing data for the groundbreaking 20/20 investigation with Diane Sawyer. In response to the Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Matthews lead the fight for transparency, petitioning the State of Connecticut, through the Freedom of Information Act, for Disclosure of Lanza’s medical/mental health and toxicology records.  As the co-founder of Ablechild, Matthews regularly meets with lawmakers, on legislative measures, including incorporating language for the MedWatch Reporting System to be made part of all health care provider education. Matthews has been featured on media outlets including CNN, FOX, and Time Magazine and is a regular guest expert on numerous national and international radio shows regarding informed consent as it pertains to psychiatric labeling and drugging.

 

Did Psychiatric Drugs Play a Role in Plaskon’s Violent Behavior?

The alleged “Prom day” killer, Christopher Plaskon, is a snap shot of the future result of Connecticut’s increased mental health services.  The 17 year-olds defense apparently will be that his “mental health” caused his murderous actions – not the dangerous psychiatric drugs he obviously has been taking for some time.

Early reports of Plaskon’s behavior included information that he had been taking drugs to treat the alleged ADHD.  What psychiatric drugs? When was the teenager first diagnosed? Had he been further diagnosed with additional “mental illnesses?”  Which diagnoses?  How many psychiatric drugs had the teenager been prescribed during his young life?  Had Plaskon been taking a “cocktail” of psychiatric drugs?  All of these questions are important to understanding Plaskon’s violent actions.   Here’s why.

The teenager is mentally ill. He suffers from one or more psychiatric disorders.   This is the mental health community’s mantra and “ace in the hole.”   Despite there being zero scientific or medical data to support even one psychiatric “disorder” being an abnormality of the brain (objective, confirmable abnormality), the mental health community’s psychiatric labeling goes unchecked, opening the flood gates for prescribing dangerous psychiatric drug “treatments.”

According to recent news reports, Plaskon is being “treated” with two mind-altering psychiatric drugs – an anti-anxiety drug and also an anti-psychotic.  How long has Plaskon been taking these drugs? Had the teenager been prescribed the mind-altering drugs prior to his murderous actions?

For the sake of argument, let’s assumed Plaskon was being “treated” with both the anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic drugs prior to the stabbing.  Had he, like the Santa Barbara shooter, been prescribed the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax?  What are some of the known serious adverse reactions associated with anti-anxiety drugs like Xanaz?  Confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, aggression, hostility and decreased inhibitions are some of the more serious adverse reactions associated with this class of drug.

What about the adverse reactions associated with anti-psychotic drugs?  Like so many of the psychiatric drug “treatments,” known adverse reactions associated with antipsychotic drugs include increased anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, to name a few.

Given the known adverse reactions associated with these psychiatric drugs, and withdrawal from them, it seems fair to suggest that it’s possible that Plaskon’s violent behavior may have been a result of one or more of the adverse reactions associated with these psychiatric drugs.

Will Plaskon’s psychiatric drug use even be made part of the trial? If history is any indication, probably not. The mental health community, which cannot prove even one of its alleged mental disorders is an abnormality of the brain and,  which, the state of Connecticut has warmly embraced will effectively and without scrutiny argue the worsening of Plaskon’s mental disorders.

As Ablechild’s mission is one of informed consent, we cannot help but wonder if Plaskon’s parents were made aware of the complete subjectivity of psychiatric diagnosing or, for that matter, advised of the possible known adverse reactions associated with any psychiatric drugs their son may have been prescribed.  This information can be easily verified by the informed consent document parents should sign when the diagnosis is made, like the one linked.

Because of the state’s ill-informed rush to institute costly, increased mental health services in Connecticut, and being fully aware that mental health “treatment” largely consists of prescribing psychiatric drugs, Ablechild believes that the state has an obligation to insure that parents and families are fully informed on both of these issues.

It’s one thing to tell consumers that the mental health increases are being instituted  to help those who are “suffering.” But without providing all the information about psychiatric diagnosing and the risks associated with psychiatric drugs, the state is nothing more than a shill for the mental health community and pharmaceutical industry.

 

 

 

Sandy Hook Police Investigation Reveals Two GPS Models in Mass Murders

The State Police Report of the Sandy Hook shooting has revealed some interesting inconsistencies about the Garmin GPS system that investigators examined to provide a snap shot of Adam Lanza’s whereabouts, months and days, before the shooting.    

Ablechild long has believed that the entire medical/mental health history of Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, was needed in order to make informed decisions about the future of the State’s mental health services.  Despite suing the State, in early 2013, for these records, including Lanza’s autopsy and toxicology results, the State denied the organization’s request, explaining that, as a 501c3, Ablechild was not an “interested party.”

Nevertheless, in an effort to try and understand the deadly actions of Lanza, and perhaps glean some mental health information, that may shed some light on the circumstances surrounding the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Ablechild has painstakingly combed through the entire (thousands of pages) State Police Report of the incident.  The documentation regarding what is reported to be Adam Lanza’s GPS system is confusing, at best.

The first report of the “Examination of GPS (Garmin Nuvi 200)” is dated May 11, 2013 (File ending in 59, Book 3, #0051670) and the investigating officer is Michael Mudry, who explains that he is tasked with examining the Garmin Nuvi 200 that was seized from the Lanza residence.

Officer Mudry further explains in this report that the GPS was originally seized by the Eastern District Major Crime Squad (EDMC), turned over to the FBI for extraction and Mudry burned a CD-R of the information for his examination of the GPS.  Officer Mudry also explains in this report that in February of 2013, he contacted a customer service representative at Garmin, who provided detailed information about ” the Garmin Nuvi 200…”

In another report regarding Lanza’s GPS (File ending in 59, Book 8, #001180469) dated August 29, 2013, Officer Mudry explains that the contents of a white plastic garbage bag found in the closet of Lanza’s bedroom include “one -Garmin Nuvi .”

Now, in a September 11, 2013 report (File ending in 59, Book 2, # 00171468) by Officer John Kimball, the Garmin Nuvi 200 suddenly and inexplicably is being identified as a “Garmin Nuvi Model 550) – that’s right a “550.”  Officer Kimball explains that his supervisor has asked him to examine the GPS that was seized from the Lanza home, but “it was later learned that Detective Michael Mudry already has examined the GPS.”

Officer Kimball acquiesces to officer Mudry’s report, which is part of this file.  This is where it gets interesting. Officer Mudry explains in this report that on July 31, 2013, he was assigned by Sgt. DeCesare “the task of examining a Garmin Nuvi Model 550 Global Positioning System (GPS) device which had been removed from a 2010 Honda Civic (Connecticut Passenger Plate: 872YEO) located at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.”

Weirder still, Officer Mudry no longer is relying on the FBI extraction data, as claimed in the May 11, 2013 report but, rather, “upon first examination, I determined the device battery was dead. I used a Mini-USB cable to connect the Garmin to my department Hewlett Packard laptop computer. In addition to powering the unit, this method allowed me to inspect the internal memory of the GPS device from my laptop.”

So in this report Officer Mudry is actually connecting the Garmin Nuvi Model 550 device – not the Garmin Nuvi 200 data extraction obtained from the FBI – to his computer for his examination. Furthermore, the GPS was “removed from the 2010 Honda Civic located at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” not seized from the Lanza home as reported in the May and August reports.

In a “Summary for Sergeant Michael DeCesare,” which still is part of this same report, Officer Mudry advises “I have begun going through the Garmin Nuvi Model 550 GPS device removed from Lanza’s 2010 Honda Civic (Ct Plate: 872YEO).”

If Officer Mudry was examining a “Garmin Nuvi Model 550,” why would he contact Garmin customer service for information about a “Garmin Nuvi 200?”  For that matter, why would the FBI be examining a “Garmin Nuvi 200” if the 550 was actually removed from Lanza’s car?

Certainly one would expect these detectives are capable of determining the accurate model number of the evidence they’re examining.  So which is it? Was the Garmin 200 or 550 removed from the Lanza home or Lanza’s Honda Civic at the school?

According to Officer Mudry’s report (depending on how one decides which Garmin device was examined, and from where the device was seized) the “journey” data provided by police, from whatever Garmin, ends on December 13, 2012 – the day before the shooting.

This isn’t a small issue.  Here’s why.  If the Garmin Nuvi Model 550 was removed from Lanza’s Honda Civic located at Sandy Hook Elementary School, then one would expect the “journey” data would reflect Lanza’s travel to Sandy Hook Elementary School on the morning of December 14th. It doesn’t.

Given the seriousness of this investigation, it is difficult to accept that law enforcement is unable to provide accurate and consistent reporting of important physical evidence.

But for Ablechild’s purposes, the information gleaned, from whichever Garmin, reveals dozens of “journey” entries, including numerous trips to the now well-known movie theatre where Adam Lanza utilized the “Dance, Dance Revolution” game.

In fact, what is odd about these “journey” hits is that it appears that Lanza was not the “recluse” the public has been led to believe, considering that he often would arrive at the theatre sometimes as early as 1:00 a.m. and not return home until dawn.  What is odd about these particular “journey” hits is that the theatre closes by 2:00a.m.  No explanation is provided as to what Adam Lanza was doing during these early morning hours.

There are other “journey” hits that may suggest Adam Lanza may have been traveling to these locations for some kind of mental health treatment.  Several of the “journey” hits are locations where behavioral and cognitive health centers are located. Another location is a private school that offers Mandarin lessons which, reportedly, Adam was taking.

Of course, because the State Police Report fails to provide any mental health data for the last five years of Adam Lanza’s life, it’s anyone’s guess what Adam Lanza’s mental health status is and whether his travel “journey” data has any connection to mental health treatment.

 

Let’s Look at Mental Health “Treatment” – Not Increase It

 This is in response to the op-ed by Lloyd I. Sederer, Md. A Defining Moment for Mental Health in AmericaDr. Sederer begins his mental health cheerleading piece with the mention of the massacre in Newtown, Ct., stating that “…too little has been done so far to make a difference for those whose fates lies ahead.”

This statement couldn’t be more wrong.  Since the Sandy Hook shooting, thirty-seven states have instituted some form of increased mental health services and, in Connecticut, increased mental health legislation was passed without public input and without even having a completed investigative report of the incident.

Lawmakers in Connecticut, and throughout the U.S., acted in typical crisis management mode and instituted increased mental health services without even knowing if the evidence from the shooting called for such measures.

The fact is the “investigation” of the Sandy Hook shooting does not provide one detail about the medical or mental health records for the last five years of Adam Lanza’s life.  Adam Lanza’s mental health records end in 2007, (five years prior to the shooting incident) after he experienced serious adverse reactions to two antidepressants while being treated at the Yale Child Study Center.

Worse still, Nancy Lanza made mental health professionals aware of both of the drug adverse reaction events and was labeled, by those treating her son, to be “non-compliant” because she refused to continue to subject her son to the harmful psychiatric drug “treatment.”

Mental health’s continued use of the Sandy Hook incident is unacceptable and irrelevant because there is no evidence to support that Adam Lanza was not receiving the best mental health money could buy.  If one uses the available mental health data for Adam Lanza, they would find that Lanza had been receiving mental health services and treatment since the age of six.

Dr. Sederer uses this op-ed to beg support for Congressman Tim Murphy’s mental health legislation (H.R.3717) which for all practical purposes is all about “screening” the children of America for early identification of mental illness.  Ooohh paahlease!

Let’s look at the facts. Nearly 79 million Americans are taking at least one psychiatric drug, including 41 million people taking antidepressants, which includes 7.5 million children between the ages of 6-17.  One in five American adults take at least one psychiatric drug and, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S., with 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants being written in 2010.

Despite the fact that there are 22 international regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs, citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch system reveals that between 2004 and 2012, the federal drug agency received more than 14,000 reports on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects.

The problem with Dr. Sederer’s support of Representative Murphy’s mental health legislation is that it continues to sell the myth that psychiatric disorders are based in science/medicine and, therefore, can be effectively treated.  It just isn’t true. Psychiatric diagnosing is not based in science or medicine and it is completely subjective.

Because there is no evidence that any psychiatric disorder has a biological cause, and the pharmaceutical companies admit that they do not understand how the drugs used as “treatment” actually work in the brain, it seems that there’s a whole lot of mental health guessing going on.

Rather than continue to legislate increased mental health services, isn’t it time to seriously look at the data and start asking tough questions about the “treatment” the mental health industry is peddling?  And rather than support Rep. Murphy’s legislation to increase mental health services that clearly are not working, there is another bill pending in Congress that actually protects children, H.R. 4518 the Parental Protection Act.

 

 

Is Increased Drugging of the Nation’s Children Really the Answer?

The Connecticut Mirror ran an op-ed yesterday by Marcy Hoyland titled Detect mental health problems early to prevent violence, that reads like an infomercial for the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

While no one could fault Hoyland for caring about the emotional and behavioral problems of the nation’s youth, the solution recommended by Hoyland is to identify mental illness early in order to get treatment before things get worse.

Sounds good. But the problem is that identifying mental illness is completely subjective. There is not one psychiatric mental disorder that is based in science/medicine. There is no objective, confirmable abnormality that is a psychiatric disorder.

Hoyland suggests that “by identifying individuals with risk factors to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, we can treat these people in a way to keep them healthy for as long as possible. The same is true of mental health care.”  Actually, given that psychiatric diagnosing is subjective, it isn’t at all the same.

The fact is diabetes and heart disease are not diagnosed by the patient answering questions about their behavior. Unlike psychiatric diagnosing, medical tests are utilized to determine these actual medical conditions.  There are no medical tests – urine or blood tests, MRI or CAT scans – used to diagnose mental disorders.

And, of course, the decades long theory of the alleged chemical imbalance remains just that…a theory.  There is no test to determine the chemical levels in the brain, making it impossible to know whether the chemicals are in, or out, of balance or, for that matter, what “normal” levels may be.

Hoyland throws in a few interesting statistics to make her case for early detection, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimate that one in five children in the U.S. has a mental health “issue” and 70 percent of those individuals do not receive care. Sounds dire. But the reality is that the U.S. is diagnosing and drugging its youth at record speed.

Consider for moment a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  that more than 11 percent of American school children now are diagnosed with ADHD, 7.5 percent of children ages 6-17 are being prescribed psychiatric mind-altering drugs for emotional and behavioral problems and “over the last two decades, the use of medication to treat mental health problems has increased substantially among all school-aged children.”

The fact is that mental health “treatment” in America primarily consists of the use of powerful mind-altering drugs. According to a study by IMS Health nearly 79 million Americans are taking at least one psychiatric drug, including nearly seven-and-a-half million children between the ages of 6 and 17.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed “Black box” warnings on many of these psychiatric mind-altering drugs because the federal agency has concluded that the drugs may actually cause suicidality and the drug makers warn of violent behavior, mania, psychosis and a host of other serious behavioral adverse reactions.

One can only assume that Hoyland was not aware of these data and, perhaps, is why she advocates that schools should have people who are trained to subjectively diagnose mental illness so they can identify your child and get them the “treatment” they need.

This is a frightening thought.  One cannot help but envision these suggested “trained” mental health “people” stalking the halls of the nation’s schools eagerly looking for “abnormal” behaviors that can be “treated.”

Even more frightening is Hoyland’s support of Congressional legislation that would “provide access to school-based comprehensive mental health programs.”  In other words, more mental health diagnosing and more drugs for the nation’s youth.

Of course the bigger question is what rights do parents have once these school mental health guesters “identify” the child’s mental health problem? Hoyland appears to assume that parents will be thrilled to get the psychiatric “help” they’re told their child needs. That isn’t necessarily so and the case of Justina Pelletier, being held hostage by Boston Children’s Hospital, is a perfect example of how parents can lose their rights once psychiatry makes a subjective diagnosis.

U.S. Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) introduced legislation, H.R. 4518, The Parental Protection Act, that will address these issues, cutting off funds to medical institutions that conduct greater than minimal risk research on wards of the state, deny First Amendment rights to parents and wards of the state, and take children away from parents over disagreements on subjective diagnoses.  As Ablechild’s mission is about informed consent, we wholeheartedly support this legislation.

Furthermore, while Hoyland is advocating for increased mental health in the nation’s schools, one cannot help but ask why isn’t anyone getting better?  Will the mental health community not be satisfied until every American is diagnosed with a mental disorder and drugged?

The recent stabbing in Milford, Ct., may be a good example of mental health’s “treatment” success.  News reports state that the alleged suspect “had ADHD and other mental issues…he took strong medicine for it and other things, too.”

Having specific information about the psychiatric drugs this teenager had been prescribed would be helpful in trying to understand the violent behavior, especially given the FDA’s “Black box” warnings on most of the psychiatric drugs.

Hoyland  begins the op-ed with a reference to the ever-increasing number of school shootings in America, then suggests the reason for the problem is the lack of mental health treatment among the nation’s school-age children, yet fails to even address the connection between the prescribed psychiatric drugs and violence.

If Hoyland is really concerned about finding an answer to the increased number of violent acts, isn’t it time to consider that there may actually be a problem with the mental health “treatment” being provided?

 

 

 

 

State Child Advocate Still Investigating Sandy Hook Shooter

State Child Advocate Still Investigating Sandy Hook Shooter

 Although the State Police Report of the shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary provided zero information about the motive for the murderous actions of Adam Lanza, there still is an on-going investigation by the State’s child advocate’s office that may provide additional clues.

In March of 2013, the child advocate’s office requested Lanza’s school records, including report cards, attendance records, any individualized education plans, minutes of any meetings with specialized teams, psychological reports or evaluations, suspension and expulsion records, nursing and social work reports, and any correspondence with his family.

That’s a lot of information and much of it may provide a glimpse into not only the kind of mental health treatment Lanza received while attending school, but whether or not he even received state mental health care benefits. Hopefully, unlike the State Police Report, the public may learn something about the last five years of Lanza’s life.

As everyone now is fully aware, the State Police Report provides no information about Lanza’s mental health treatment for the five years leading up to the shooting incident. This complete lack of mental health information did not, however, stop state legislators from implementing costly increases in mental health services throughout the state.

Worse still, even if there had been information about Lanza’s mental health treatment in the investigative report, it would not have made a difference to lawmakers, as they passed the legislation, with no public input, seven months prior to the release of the investigative report on Sandy Hook.

Faith Vos Winkel, the Assistant Child Advocate, advised Ablechild that they received the records in February of this year and it would be at least two months before the report would be completed.

The state Office of the Child Advocate investigates child deaths and, in this instance, to collect information “to say, what are the lessons potentially to be learned here,” Vos Winkel has been quoted as saying.

Yes, what are the lessons of Sandy Hook? It’s hard to know given the complete shutdown of specific information about Lanza’s mental health treatment, including what drugs Lanza had been prescribed over the course of the last five years of his life.

The state Police Report provides information that in 2007 Lanza was prescribed Celexa. But in a recent New Yorker Magazine article by Andrew Solomon, the public was made aware that Lanza also had been prescribed a second antidepressant, Lexapro.

Nancy Lanza reported that Adam experienced severe adverse reactions to both drugs and was essentially blown off by mental health care providers and labeled as being “non-compliant” because she refused to continue to subject her son to the drugs.

According to an interview conducted by the Newtown Bee with Assistant Child Advocate, Faith Vos Winkel, the child advocate’s office “subpoenaed many records, not just school documents.”

That’s great. The question, though, is will the public be allowed to review these documents? Will the child advocate’s report be a carbon copy of the previous investigations of the shooting incident, where the public is entitled only to the opinion of those who write the report, rather than having access to the actual documents in order to make an informed decision?

Only time will tell.  But Ablechild will alert its members of any updates and, of course, provide the report for review when it becomes publically available.

 

 

The Sandy Hook Investigation and the “YALE Folder.”

Since the mental health bombshell released last week by the Connecticut State Police that Adam Lanza’s psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Fox, had destroyed Adam Lanza’s records, had sex with patients, and moved to New Zealand, additional questions about Lanza’s mental health treatment are surfacing.

Nancy Lanza had written an email to Dr. Fox on February 1, 2007, advising him that she wished Fox to “take the lead role” in treatment he would be receiving at the Yale Child Studies Center.

The State Police report reveals that the YALE Child Studies Center had evaluated and treated Lanza from October 2006-February 2007. Given that Lanza’s mental health records abruptly end in February of 2007- four months after beginning treatment with the Yale Child Studies Center- one has to wonder what happened.

More odd is that the treatment at Yale reportedly ended just six days after Nancy Lanza’s email to Fox, asking him to “take the lead.”

The last report from the Yale Child Studies Center in February 2007 was that Nancy Lanza had decided to discontinue the prescribed antidepressant, Celexa, as she believed Adam was experiencing an adverse reaction to the drug.

Is it possible that after more than ten years of seeking mental health assistance for Adam that Nancy Lanza decided to just stop, especially since by all accounts Lanza’s condition was getting worse, not better?

Other than prescribing mind-altering drugs, what other treatment did Lanza receive at the Yale Child Studies Center?  Was Lanza participating in a clinical study of some kind?

It’s difficult to know, as there simply is no information made available about Lanza’s mental health after his brief treatment at the Yale Child Studies Center.

Given Nancy Lanza’s documented devotion to obtaining mental health services for Adam, it seems bizarre that the State Police report fails to provide information about the last five years of mental health records.

In light of the article dated June 30, 2013 by The Hartford Currant, stating that the paper had access to Lanza’s medical records from birth to age 18, it becomes more curious that the official State Police report would fail to make these records public.