Is the 14-Year-Old Shooting Suspect in West Oak Middle School, SC Another Failed Outcome of Mental Health Treatment?

September 29th, 2016 | Breaking News

The 14-year old suspect in the Townville Elementary School shooting was expelled from West-Oak Middle School after bringing a hatchet to school last year, according to news reports.

West Oak Middle School expulsion policy requires the school to refer the student to the department of juvenile justice based on the fact he brought a weapon to school. The DJJ process clearly indicates the suspect would have undergone a mental health evaluation and had plenty of access to mental health treatment prior to the shooting.

What’s not clear, did the suspect receive mental health services and psychiatric drug treatment prior to the Hatchet incident at school? It is often difficult to gain access to early mental health treatment records. However, the public did gain access to the Sandy Hook mass shooter’s early mental health treatment records through the Child Advocate’s report, but didn’t gain access to the last five years leading up to the mass murder at Sandy Hook.  The State is still withholding those records.

Lanza’s primary treating psychiatrist, Paul Fox, who surrendered his license to practice is now facing felon charges for sexual abuse of a former patient. Fox told police during the Sandy Hook police investigation he still retains the billing records, but destroyed the actual mental health records of Lanza.  Fox failed to follow record retention law and public notification law that he was no longer practicing.  Connecticut didn’t enforce either one of those laws.

The Child Advocate’s report on Lanza actually showed he had plenty of access to mental health and participated in the birth to three mental health programs.  In addition, Lanza was home bound through Newtown public school system and under the care of discredited psychiatrist Fox at that time.  Dr. Robert King of Yale Child Study Center also treated Adam Lanza.  Dr. King is heavily involved in landmark mental health research that involves FDA approval.

The public would benefit from mental health billing information, the Yale file, and the diary of the mother, Nancy Lanza, found at the crime scene.

Dr. Robert King and Nancy Koenig of Yale claimed that Nancy Lanza refused treatment for her son; however, the police report indicates that Nancy Lanza reported an adverse drug event to Yale’s Koenig and Dr. King.  There was no indication that Dr. King or Koenig advised Nancy Lanza to report the adverse drug event to the FDA, instead Dr. King and Koenig of Yale labeled Nancy Lanza as noncompliant.

Time again the school shootings are linked to mental health “treatment” and deadly outcomes. This is an excellent time to question the condition of the mental health system, and ask two fundamental questions. Is the policies pushed in the aftermath of Sandy Hook of aggressive outpatient services, and “shy of forced medication” actually increasing our mental health crisis and the deadly outcomes?  The second question, Are public health departments, like Connecticut, protecting behavioral health vendors, bad psychiatrists, and covering up dangerous, experimental mental health treatment on children in crisis?

AbleChild contacted the SC Anderson County Sheriff’s office to encourage them to explore the psychiatric drug link, question the treating psychiatrist, and investigate any behavioral health vendor involvement.  AbleChild also asked if the suspect’s blood was taken at time of arrest.  The Sheriff’s office thanked AbleChild for our suggestions and didn’t have the information on the blood work up at this time.

AbleChild Responds to Governor Malloy’s Clown Car Comment on Sandy Hook Legislation

January 6th, 2016 | Press Releases

“How many people can get out of a clown car at the same time?” Malloy asked. Dear Governor these are serious times with serious policy implications.

AbleChild working on behalf of the public made every attempt to be included in the legislative process in the aftermath of the murders in Newtown, Connecticut our access to this process was repeatedly denied.

Governor Malloy appointed a Sandy Hook Advisory Commission (SHAC) to review and make policy recommendations. These meetings were not open to the public and our submitted testimony on increased informed consent for the mental health consumer and implementation of the MEDWATCH program, the FDA consumer adverse drug reporting system, was never considered upon repeated submission.

AbleChild followed legislative protocol on every level. Senator Bye’s office refused our recommendations outright and our testimony was lost and was excluded from the public record until a general law committee clerk helped us restore it onto the public record.

The State’s police report illustrated the fact that Nancy Lanza attempted to report an adverse drug event from Celexa (citalopram) an antidepressant in the group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to Yale Child Study Center where her son was provided “mental health treatment.”

According to the State’s police report, Yale Child Study Center failed to advise Nancy Lanza to report the adverse event to the FDA MEDWATCH reporting system, instead labeled Nancy Lanza as non-compliant. AbleChild wants to change this conversation for the consumer.

The Sandy Hook advisory panel was comprised of “stakeholders” according to the Governor. The public was not considered “stakeholders” despite the fact the system is funded by taxpayers. However, Adam’s mental health providers, Danbury Hospital and Yale Child Study Center, were participants.

The commission’s recommendations were to increase forced mental health “treatments” just shy of forced medication.

The legislative circus continued as the public watched elected officials travel to the remote town of Sandy Hook to hold a televised closed legislative session for Sandy Hook residences only. A lottery system was implemented for entrance and the qualifier, Sandy Hook, Newtown residences only. The circus needs to be shutdown.

CT State Police Appeal Freedom of Information Ruling for Lanza Documents

July 7th, 2015 | Breaking News

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Commission ruled Connecticut State Police must release personal documents seized from Adam Lanza’s home during the course of the investigation into the 2012 killings of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The Connecticut State Police appealed that decision, which is pending.

Certainly there are several key documents of great interest to Ablechild such as Nancy Lanza’s journal, Adam Lanza’s psychiatric billing and educational records, and the GPS of Nancy Lanza’s car.

AbleChild has always maintained the position that it is critical for the taxpayers to understand all the facts in the mass murder in Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut in order to understand and participate in the legislation that has come out of the incident.

Within hours of the closing of the 2012 legislative session and despite the fact lawmakers did not have access to the final police investigation, PA 13-3 was passed.  There was no public hearing held on PA 13-3, it was passed under a rare legislative “emergency ruling.”

This legislation allocated millions of taxpayer funds to more mental health services and severe gun control measures.

AbleChild filed a FOI request immediately following the killings in Newtown for similar documents, AbleChild vs. Chief Medical Examiner.

AbleChild represented the public’s right to obtain all the information that may have impacted Lanza’s decision.  During that same time, the New York Times ran an article making claims that Adam Lanza lacked mental health treatment. This is impossible to know without all the information being released for public review.

With billions of taxpayer dollars at stake and public safety hanging in the balance, the public continues to be denied basic information. This is unacceptable.

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Excludes Nancy Lanza

January 30th, 2015 | Blog

Why is the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission excluding the murder victim, Nancy Lanza, in its “dedication?”

The people deserve a fact-based report on the evidence, not a white-washed narrative to cover up the failures of  the Yale Child Study Center, Dr. Paul Fox, and Dr. Robert King and their involvement with Nancy Lanza.

Likely, the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission believes the taxpayers are not smart enough to understand how this mass murder/suicide has been twisted into a marketing blitz, with a focus on increased mental health services.

Obviously, the state believes it is necessary to pick and choose whom to release information, and doesn’t believe the taxpayer is smart enough to weigh all the facts and come to their own conclusions.

This seems like a waste of time, money, and effort as public safety falls to the side.

http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Killer-s-mom-not-a-Sandy-Hook-victim-in-6051438.php#photo-7248007

Connecticut Consumers Need Some Avenue of Relief in Mental Health

January 4th, 2015 | Breaking News, Legislation Alerts

As is typical of “crisis management” by elected officials, the Connecticut legislature responded to the Sandy Hook tragedy without full knowledge of the facts of the incident with ill-advised mental health recommendations that do nothing to protect consumer rights.

In April of last year, the Task Force to Study the Provision of Behavioral Health Services for Young Adults, established pursuant to Public Act 13-3, put forth yet-to-be-approved mental health recommendations that, for all intents and purposes, would institute cradle to grave mental health diagnosing, yet provided no avenue for consumer input.

In other words, the public may be subjected to extremely intrusive mental health services, but will have no way to voice opposition to possible inaccuracies and wrongs committed by the service providers.

For example, the Task Force writes on page xi, number 45, that “…given the current understanding of mental illness to be a biological disease.” This is just wrong. The fact is there is no scientific/medical data to support this statement for any psychiatric diagnosis, including ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, or the alleged bi-polar disorder. Believing in, and having proof of, a psychiatric “disease” is two very different things.

However, regardless of the misinformation provided by the Task Force about what is and isn’t a mental “disease,” the recommendations, if instituted, do not provide consumers the ability to hold service providers responsible. What transpired between Nancy Lanza and the Yale Child Study Center actually is a good case in point.

Recall that Nancy Lanza sought treatment services for Adam Lanza at the Yale Child Study Center beginning in October 2006 – six years prior to the shooting incident. As part of the “treatment” provided, Adam was diagnosed by Yale as suffering from a “profound Autism Spectrum Disorder” and “obsessive compulsive disorder” and then was “treated” with the mind-altering antidepressant, Celexa.

Nancy Lanza “immediately” called the service provider at Yale Child Study Center, complaining about what she believed to be serious adverse reactions to the psychiatric drug. Specifically, Nancy Lanza advised Yale that Adam was “unable to raise his arm” and attributed this adverse reaction to the drug Adam had been prescribed.

Rather than take Lanza seriously and consider that the drug may be implicated in the adverse drug event, the Yale clinician “attempted to convince Nancy Lanza that the medication was not causing any purported symptoms which Adam might be experiencing” and labeled Lanza as “non-compliant.”

Was Nancy Lanza provided information about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch System? No. Had Lanza been provided this basic adverse drug reporting information, at a minimum, the FDA would have been given important information in the event of a future drug review.

Additionally, was Lanza advised by Yale Child Study Center that she could file a complaint with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)? The record makes no mention of providing any such information.

And, to add insult to injury, there is the case of Dr. Paul Fox, Adam Lanza’s longtime psychiatrist who, ironically, six months prior to the shooting incident at Sandy Hook, voluntarily surrendered his license to practice in New York and Connecticut and destroyed his patient records prior to fleeing the U.S. to live in New Zealand.

Despite destroying all of his patient medical records and, in the case of Adam Lanza, Fox destroyed those records almost two years too early, there is absolutely no recourse. A clear violation of Connecticut State law, but no action is prescribed to deal with such flagrant violations. No fines, no penalty, nothing.

Dr. Paul Fox and even the clinicians at Yale Child Study Center are proof that consumers need an avenue of relief. AbleChild believes that lawmakers have a responsibility to provide some level of protection to consumers, especially in light of the overwhelming number of mental health recommendations being considered.

Particularly important is the recommendation listed on page xi, number 44, where it is the intent to scale up “Assertive Treatment Programs that provide aggressive outpatient services, shy of forced medication…”

Clearly the intent of the Task Force recommendations is to severely ramp up mental health “treatment,” which almost always includes psychiatric medication. Nowhere in these recommendations are suggestions for legislative measures that will provide consumers some avenue of relief, alternative treatment options, or information about reporting adverse reactions to prescribed drugs.

Ablechild takes exception to the increased mental health recommendations on a number of levels, including the fact that, given the numerous problems surrounding the mental health “care” Adam Lanza received, the State obviously cannot enforce the laws already on the books. Increasing mental health services without consumer protections in place certainly cannot be called responsible legislative action.

Ablechild Submits Legislative Requests in Public Safety and Security Committee

February 16th, 2014 | Breaking News, Legislation Alerts

Ablechild Submits Legislative Requests in Public Safety and Security Committee

In response to Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s announced funding in the state’s mental health budget, Ablechild has introduce two pieces of legislation with the Public Safety and Security Committee, that would provide informed consent and consumer access to the FDA’s MedWatch adverse drug event reporting system.

It is no secret that prescription mind-altering drugs are linked to a number of violent incidents across the country. It also is no secret that the use of psychiatric drugs is increasing at startling rates. For example, currently 70 million Americans (one in five) is taking a mind-altering drug.

In 2010, alone, more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants were written for Americans and ten percent of high school children are prescribed prescription psychiatric drugs to “treat” ADHD. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that there is a greater risk posed by prescription drugs than illicit substances.

As is well known, Ablechild sued the State to obtain Adam Lanza’s mental health records and toxicology report in order to learn whether Lanza had been prescribed psychiatric drugs and whether those drugs may have played a role in his violent behavior.

Although the state refused to make public Lanza’s mental health records and complete toxicology report, what is known is that Lanza had at least been prescribed the antidepressant, Celexa, in 2007. Immediately after taking the Celexa, Nancy Lanza reported to the Yale Child Studies Center that she believed Adam was having an adverse reaction to the drug.

Despite Nancy Lanza’s concerns about the drug, mental health practitioners at Yale did not make Lanza aware of the FDA’s MedWatch System in order that she could report the adverse event, nor is there any information provided in the State Police Report of the shooting that Yale made any effort to report the adverse event to the FDA.

Ablechild has submitted to the Public Safety and Security Committee an amendment to Raised S.B. 98 to include training of the MedWatch System to security personnel. The amendment would make it mandatory to provide verbal and written information to parents of children who are flagged in the drug detection and gang identification process.

Ablechild’s second legislative request to the Public Safety and Security Committee is to make February 14th of each year MedWatch Awareness Day, which would acknowledge the important role the MedWatch System plays in protecting the health and well-being of the State’s consumers.

“Both of these legislative measures,” said Ablechild co-founder, Sheila Matthews, “are an important part of informed consent.  This is about public safety, and it’s about making sure that parents know that they can directly report adverse drug events to the FDA. The system is completely private and there is no cost associated with it.”

“Less than one percent of the actual adverse drug events are reported to the FDA,” explained Matthews “because people are not aware that the system exists.” “These legislative initiatives,” said Matthews, “would be a great help to Connecticut consumers and, ultimately, help the FDA decided when action needs to be taken on a drug.”

Both legislative requests have been sent to the Public Safety and Security Committee and Ablechild looks forward to the upcoming public hearings to gain support for the measures.

 

 

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