Jevon was diagnosed with bipolar manic depressive disorder on June 18, 2005. I was told it was an incurable mental illness. The diagnosis was unbelievable and overwhelming to discover. He had been healthy his entire life and did not believe he was ill. I sought help from the doctors at the hospital but was told he did not meet the commitment standard of dangerousness to self or others, so there was nothing they could do. I begged for help, insisting that something was terribly wrong. He did not believe what the doctors were saying. Every mother knows when something is wrong with their child. I could see it in his eyes; the emptiness, confusion and fear. He promised me he would be alright; it was a promise he couldn't keep. Thirty-one days later, [he] was dead.Jevon Lampkins was 23 when he died. His case is not unusual, though we wish it were. His mother couldn’t get him help because of a weak treatment law. And like too many others, he died in an encounter with a law enforcement officer.
Our thoughts are with Jevon's family today. And with all the other families who are still trying to get help. Keep making noise.