Thursday, October 18, 2007

Suicide at UCLA

In Los Angeles, 19-year-old Simon Latimer committed suicide last Friday by walking off a balcony at a UCLA campus. Latimer’s mother, Dianne Taylor said Simon had schizophrenia, and toward the end of his life heard voices from God and wandered around LA looking for God.

Like so many other parents whose grown children have a severe mental illness, Simon’s parents tried to get him help.

“He did well in school, got awards, and then about a year ago, he started hearing voices and became schizophrenic. His personality changed, and he refused treatment,” Taylor said.

Though his parents tried to get him into programs, Simon declined. Since he was over 18, his parents had no choice but to let him go his own way.

“Because he wasn’t considered ‘bad enough’ by the authorities, I couldn’t get him into a hospital,” Taylor said.

She added that this was especially hard since refusing treatment is a common symptom of schizophrenia.

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