Friday, February 22, 2008

Dr. Torrey in New York Post

David Tarloff, accused of killing psychologist Kathryn Faughey and trying to kill psychiatrist Kent Shinbach, was known by his neighbors as "the crazy guy." He'd been "in and out of mental hospitals more than 20 times," says his brother, but "they kept releasing him." He did reasonably well when maintaining treatment, but he "frequently went off his medication."

Off medication, in these stories, is when the trouble usually starts...

Violence committed by seriously mentally-ill individuals who are not being treated are merely one manifestation of our egregiously failed mental-health-treatment system...

And there is abundant evidence that all of these problems are getting worse.

We know what to do, of course. Most individuals like Tarloff do very well if they are properly followed up and treated. Kathryn Faughey's killing is a failure not only of the treatment system but also of every New Yorker for not demanding a system that works - first and foremost, by holding hospital and mental-health accountable.

Until we start doing that, each mind-numbing tragedy will keep on being followed by another.

- TAC president, Dr. E Fuller Torrey in an op-ed in today's New York Post

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