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Social Services or the police. Don't quote this; I'll delete later: DH has a nephew who was...not right. A phone call that we made one night caught the kid trying to light his parent's bedroom on fire.

Depends on how much authority your local Social Services or police have, how old the person is. I'd definitely start calling around, though, and I'd start with Social Services.

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I would think "scary Facebook comments" could potentially be enough to warrant a call to the police. Depends on the content of those comments. Verifiable threats might be something they can follow up on. Many horrific incidents in the past couple years were preceded by fb comments - so I would imagine that police are taking that kind of thing more seriously.

 

You can call the police non-emergency line and just tell them what you know. IMO the risk of doing nothing is likely greater than the risk of reporting what may turn out to be a non-issue.

 

Tough situation to be in. Hope you figure out the best approach.

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I was listening to NPR earlier today. The host was interviewing a psychologist-type person (I missed who it was exactly). He said that one of the reasons today's tragedy is so hard to predict is because many people fit the profile exactly but very few actually "snap." He also pointed out that "snap" isn't the right word. In the case of mass murders, they are usually carefully planned. OTOH, like the pp said, FB comments care precede horrific events. How old is this person and is he seeing a counselor? Who would you tell if it is an adult? Without a direct threat I doubt the police could do anything. I'm not sure what I would do. :grouphug:

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Depends on how things are set up in your area. Here, you call the crisis hotline. They will determine if the person appears to be an actual threat to themselves or others. If they are, then they will involuntarily commit them to the psychiatric ward for 72 hours for evaluation. The better way (if possible) is to convince the person to voluntarily seek help for their mental illness.

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Well, it's not in my area. It's my nephew. For a long time I've been the only family member who could see his fb, I"m sure because I never commented and he just forgot I could see what he posted. I had him blocked from my page so he couldn't see my posts and remember I was his friend. Tonight I saw that he's deleted all but a few friends, I can't see posts anymore. He has been troubled since he was very young. Put stuff on his fb that I couldn't believe.

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Call the police. Most police departments have detectives who are tech savvy and can look into concerns such as yours. These things are being taken seriously more and more. Sorry this is weighing on your mind. Make the call. Then if, heaven forbid, something should happen, you will know you tried to intervene.

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What do you think can actually be done.

Is he a minor? Do his parents take him to or try to take him to counseling? If you dc were "troubled" and you trying various things like counseling, but it was not making a difference based on outward appearance, what can you do? Every angry irrational adolescent male cannot be locked up. Most parents will not kick their own dc out of the house and if they did would that be something that led to more problems because of more anger and no stability.

 

Do you know what efforts are being made? How much does this family share with you or anyone else? If you ask how much intervention they have sought would they tell you. Or would they give a vague response that means you think they weren't doing enough, since this is a source of deep pain, shame and your questions may be accusations?

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Here, you can call the non-emergency number and report your concerns to one of the sheriff's lieutenants. Facebook has NO security. Oh, people think it does, but it doesn't. They can back door into any one's account in nothing flat and it gets done.all.the.time. A couple of judges in other states have ruled people on facebook have no expectation of privacy and so employers and police break into it daily. We know people who have been fired for what they've said about the boss or co-workers on their accounts though they've never "friended" anyone at work. It's easy to do.

 

So, if his comments have indicated that he has violent feelings towards himself or others, they can choose to visit his home and speak to him as well as his parents and they most certainly can back door into his fb wall. If confronted and the parents have been either completely unaware and the child is not receiving any mental health help or if the parents are beligerant or they have any reason to believe he might hurt himself any time soon or someone else, they can call the medics to transport him to the nearest psyche ward for a 72 hr. hold with a family court review that could extend that stay to 10 days if requested by a psychiatrist or social services and 30 days at children's hospital is an outside possibility. DD has transported MANY teens that have been reported by concerned family memers or neighbors. The police do not take it lightly here and do but not transport willy nilly. Usually an officer or sheriff's deputy with some specific training is sent to the home and they have a good idea what the warning signals are. They do not hold everyone they check on. However, breaking into fb and finding threats is one very good way for a teen to end up on a hold.

 

Of course, it depends on your own state laws and the level of involvement your local law enforcement is authorized to take in mental health cases in which there is no felony being committed at the time.

 

I think you'd feel better if you report it.

 

If they do nothing and in the future you manage to see his fb book wall again, you can capture screen shots and print them. We are doing this for one of our relatives. My narci SIL has stepped things up a notch and her desperation for attention indicates she would consider physically harming her daughter to get it. We are using her FB posts as evidence in the hopes of forcing my brother into either leaving her or having her committed on a psyche hold and then forcing the issue of meds or something, anything...it has to stop.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Faith

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If he's not a minor, you can try to contact the police in his area, tell them what you've read and what else you know that concerns you. However, if he's an adult, then unless he committed a crime, or unless he lives in one of about 3 states, the police won't be able to do much.

 

One trouble with prevention when it involves mental health is that most states (with a very few exceptions) require some demonstrable level of "harmful to self or others" before anything can be done without the person's consent. For instance, I used to work in a facility with people who were chronically mentally ill. One man began to degenerate and the staff all knew that he needed to be hospitalized. However, it was not until he threatened to kill the director and had left to go home to get a gun that he could be given involuntary treatment.

 

Within my lifetime, in the state I live in, people could just be "signed into" the mental hospital by a relative. There was no real check on that. I worked with a woman who had been signed in by an aunt because she had her 2nd baby out of wedlock as a teen. She'd been there 20 years. She was kind of a "wild and crazy" (and funny) woman but not a mentally ill woman at the time I knew her. But she was still there. (She got out in the deinstitutionalization wave during the 1980s--middle aged, uneducated, profoundly physically handicapped...)

 

Because of such abuses, and because of court cases that determined that adults have a right to refuse medical treatment, including drugs, etc. for mental health, it has become very hard to proactively get someone help.

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What are the mental health services like in your area? Both the Virginia Tech killer and the Colorado movie theater killer had been declared imminent threats by psychologists (and in the case of the VT killer, a judge). they can be held for 72 hours, but usually are not due to lack of bed space. Access to mental health facilities that can hold such people is a serious problem in this country right now.

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I would talk to the police and tell them what you know. A psychologist who was on the news yesterday said that people do not "snap". There is a projectory of aberrant behavior that escalates. He said the problem is that people don't report this for various reasons which include being afraid to get the person in trouble, being afraid of being wrong, being afraid the behavior is not aberrant enough.

 

In September, I reported one of DD's friends to the guidance counselor and principal at her school. I read her text messages and found a recent one which the friend sent her in which he told her that when he gets depressed, which he was at the time according to other texts, he wanted to "shoot up the school".

 

The school called the police, who talked to DD, the kid, and the kid's parents. DD is not allowed any contact with him at all, and he doesn't attempt to talk to her or to text her any more.

 

I did reported the kid because I thought it was better safe than sorry, even though I could not imagine this kid doing anything like that. He is one of those star kids that is all good things in every way, at least on the surface.

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I was listening to NPR earlier today. The host was interviewing a psychologist-type person (I missed who it was exactly). He said that one of the reasons today's tragedy is so hard to predict is because many people fit the profile exactly but very few actually "snap." He also pointed out that "snap" isn't the right word. In the case of mass murders, they are usually carefully planned. OTOH, like the pp said, FB comments care precede horrific events. How old is this person and is he seeing a counselor? Who would you tell if it is an adult? Without a direct threat I doubt the police could do anything. I'm not sure what I would do. :grouphug:

 

 

I very much agree with this...

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I am betting the parents know, and if they are in denial about it, your comment will not help.

 

Keep close track of anything that happens, and if serious business goes down, talk to a sensible person at the police in a calm, rational, factual, non-axe-to-grind way. A lot of monkey business gets lost because a chaotic lifestyle makes it hard to connect the dots.

 

At least in our state, if the monkey business has to do with a psychiatrist, you can't be TOLD any info about a patient, but you can TELL what you know.

 

The huge majority of people who live out lives of desperation, even angry ones, don't do anything like this. Injuring or killing a parent is much more common than a pack of strangers.

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Snap may not be the right word in the sense that most people understand it. But, many mentally ill people have a break with reality, sometimes this is easier to see from the outside than others. But, planning doesn't mean the person is not suffering from a mental illness in which they are not experiencing reality. They might believe things that a rational person obviously would not believe. The vast majority of these people only wind up harming themselves. If they are declared an imminent danger, then they can be held, but many are not because the facilities are so few and far between.

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Sadly, in many states mental health funding is insufficient to care for all the people in need. I have friends with an adult child who has hurt them and other people, but they receive minimal help. A few weeks in jail and mandatory mental health services, then released to do it again. Rinse and repeat.

 

I hope this person does not end up injuring anyone.

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At least in our state, if the monkey business has to do with a psychiatrist, you can't be TOLD any info about a patient, but you can TELL what you know.

 

But, if the psychologist/psychiatrist (I believe psychologists usually have more leeway?) gathers enough information, then they could tell a judge if they believed the person posed an imminent threat to themselves or others? At least in most states?

 

The huge majority of people who live out lives of desperation, even angry ones, don't do anything like this. Injuring or killing a parent is much more common than a pack of strangers.

 

And harming themselves is even more common than harming others. That is what happened in the case of my family member.

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Then you tell who you need to tell. Even if nothing ever come of it you'll know you did what you could.

 

 

ITA with Chucki.

 

If you've read something and you are concerned, I'd maybe show my spouse and see if he concurs or my best friend or whatever.

 

But if you are concerned, call your local police on the non-emergency line. I'm always surprised when I do that - no matter where I live - by how kind the police are.

 

I was afraid for an elderly relative 15 years ago. I knew he was contemplating suicide and I knew he was angry and I knew he had a handgun. I called our local police who did a few minutes of research and got me to a very nice officer in my relative's jurisdiction. They worked with me to solve the problem.

 

You might get a jerk. They can happen. But you might just get someone who deeply cares. You cannot control the outcome. You can only take that first step.

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But, if the psychologist/psychiatrist (I believe psychologists usually have more leeway?) gathers enough information, then they could tell a judge if they believed the person posed an imminent threat to themselves or others? At least in most states?

 

 

It varies by state. In NY, in my day, it was 2 PC (two physician consent) got you 72 hours detention and a visit to the judge by the end of it, if the facility thought you should stay.

In my state a county mental health professional, usually a social worker, can detain only those with clear threat to self or others, and you see the judge in 72 hours. The law here was loosened to cover not only someone holding an axe saying they'll use it, but to include those who were seen by reliable sources doing so in the last 24 hours, BUT despite every vote in the state house and senate being in support of this, it was delayed some years due to budget problems. We have had a string of clearly disturbed people killing strangers at a coffee shop, construction workers, their dads, people in a 7-11, etc but the enacting the law has not been moved up. Wait til the governor loses a loved one. Then we'll get it.

 

Here is a letter one mother wrote to the governor begging for some way of preventing the violence she saw coming:

 

http://www.thenewstr...ylink=mirelated

And the backstory:

http://www.thenewstr...ting-laura.html

 

And here is a heartbreaker that talks about the money involved. It is quite a bit:

 

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/A-gravely-disabled-mental-health-care-system-1284468.php#photo-690594

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it also depends upon if the agency/person you're reporting to listens. In my experience,:

 

the laws are so focused on the "Rights of the patient' that unless they have made specific threats, actually committed violence, or demonstrated an intent to harm themselves or others no one can actually hold them. if they have done any of the above, it *might* be possible to get a three-day involuntary hold at the discretion of the medical staff of a psychiatric facility during which time they would be evaluated. but UNLESS they demonstrate they will be immediatly going out and killing other's or themselves, they have to be released. if someone walks into a psychiatric facility to check themself in, they can walk right back out because it's "voluntary".

 

psychiatrists can even recommend someone be held, but unless the judge supports them, they can't be held. I recall reports the "joker" killer's psychiatrist had actually reported him to authorities as a danger, i think a month beforehand?

 

I've a friend whose dd attempted/threatened to kill herself several times over a two year period. she regularly saw a shrink (I will not dignify him with any other title) who kept telling her everything was her parents fault and to stay away from them. she was never given even a cursory neurological exam. finally, the state attempted to commit her, which requires many hoops. she was finally examined by a dr who paid attention, and during that three-day period things were found that led to more extensive tests that determined she actually had a massive brain tumor. (the tumor itself would have killed her in a matter of months.)

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One case the mother printed the letter she had sent to the governor BEGGING for help before her daughter killed someone or was killed. Everything she predicted came true. But don't get me started.....

 

The mom of the Virginia Tech killer begged for help too. What needs to be done, in your opinion, given that you work in this field? Is this a matter of insurance? Budget constraints? Lack of mental health facilities? A combination? Where do we start to fix it?

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The mom of the Virginia Tech killer begged for help too. What needs to be done, in your opinion, given that you work in this field? Is this a matter of insurance? Budget constraints? Lack of mental health facilities? A combination? Where do we start to fix it?

 

The issues:

1) money

2) money

3) money

4) civil rights

5) ignorance

 

 

The 4th can be overcome if there is political will.

 

Mental health care is time intensive and requires well-trained people who are paid enough to take it on. It is not for the faint-hearted, and from the get-go I noticed a bias against working in that field. In med school an MD came to lecture to us on working at the state hospital. I was sitting in back near "the boys", and comments were: she's really hot, why is she working with crazies? (She was very stunning.)

 

When I took my current job, and said goodbye to everyone at the previous hospital, repeatedly I got: don't do it. I didn't hear ONE single "that would be interesting". I think fear and revulsion could be addressed through more exposure in nursing, social work, and med school.

 

But, at least in my state, and I guess in most, it is money. Corrections don't want to revoke broken parole because it costs money to house and confine. Drug and alcohol treatment is shrinking. Group homes fear being cracked down on for ANY bad outcome, even if the person has a poor prognosis, so they won't take people who might wander and freeze to death. Here the state is shoving the care onto the counties ("Mentally ill people belong in the communities with their loved ones"). The counties don't want them. One county sued the state to provide support and won. The state then changed the law so no other counties could sue.

 

We who work in it think: it all comes out of the tax payer's pocket. Instead of DOC and DSHS and the counties fighting over whose bottom line is going to look better that year, make the most sensible and cost effective plan, force everyone to the table, and everyone signs on. Rural counties say: we have so few mentally ill, why are we supporting Seattle's mentally ill? Seattle says: you rural counties don't provide services and your local sheriff makes it clear to Mr. Crazy Screw Up if he is caught again dining and dashing he'll be found in a ditch (okay, they don't say that latter part, but ** I ** say that latter part), so your rural mentally ill come to Seattle to HIDE, that is why we have more per capita.

 

And sadly, the mantra repeated in our "Mission statements" and the slogans on the walls is RECOVERY. There is a huge sense of denial about how some people are just plain old going to be in "the system" the rest of their lives. Accept this, make it as inexpensive as possible, and be humane. Don't keep picking them up homeless and filthy and screaming pantsless at the bus stop, delousing them, medicating them, give them three hots and a cot for a couple months and say now you're cured, here's your taxi to a shelter, and repeat this annually.

 

Okay, you got me started....

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My 15 year old cousin is now in prison for 10+ years, because his own mother found letters in his room detailing plans on killing a few kids in his class. He was in the early planning stages, trying to get a couple other kids to help. She called the police immediately and he was arrested and put on a hold as the pysch and judge examined his history and such. Thankfully he will be staying locked up for a while.

 

He was always a bit of a trouble maker in school, but had never done anything actually illegal. In this case, it was enough that he was planning a crime to lock him up. OP - I beg there is SOMETHING in his room, if his parents were ready to do something about it. This was in California, if that makes a difference.

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K,

 

The thing about budgets? We are paying for it one way or another. They are either supported through the medical system or the prison system. Sooner or later, the taxpayers usually wind up supporting them. And, I agree that the civil rights issue is tricky because some people can be lucid for a long, long time, especially when on meds. But, on their own? That is a whole other story. Can a campaign for better mental health support be devised?

 

Ren,

 

See, that is a problem. Sure, he can be locked up until he is 25 in the juvenile system. But, then he is out with little education, coping skills, support, etc. what then?

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The mom of the Virginia Tech killer begged for help too. What needs to be done, in your opinion, given that you work in this field? Is this a matter of insurance? Budget constraints? Lack of mental health facilities? A combination? Where do we start to fix it?

 

It's laws.

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K,

 

The thing about budgets? We are paying for it one way or another.

 

 

I have to believe the number crunchers look very closely at the cost of muttering homeless people+crime/destruction/ER visits vs. cost of housing and treating them.

Ditto for skeleton staff+lawsuits over broken noses and the occ. murder vs solid staffing.

 

But there may be less sense in this, and the number crunchers for the corrections people and the number crunchers for police etc. don't talk.I don't know, and I'm sure no one would tell me.

 

I know some hobby number-crunchers, and one I believe told me if you can discharge a patient from the state facility and they "stay out" for 3 months, you have saved money. If they get back in the system in less than three months, it was more cost effective to keep them. That is just the numbers, not the horror and pity of all our discharges who kill themselves or jump from moving cars because the voices told them, or are murdered because they are homeless and defenseless, nor scraping people off the sidewalk and bathing them and dealing with their rage and hallucinations ONCE AGAIN, knowing what a sweet and happy person they were on discharge.

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The thing about budgets? We are paying for it one way or another. They are either supported through the medical system or the prison system. Sooner or later, the taxpayers usually wind up supporting them.

 

I agree. But at least in CA it's way easier to get funding for prisons than it is for healthcare. One is "tough on crime" and the other is "socialism."

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Why can't they both be about protecting our citizens? I am sick of politics overriding what we must do.

 

 

Some 13 years ago my dead brother proposed that all elected officials at the turn of the century stay in office, be replaced by their own choice, and if corrupt, removed by assassination.

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...The host was interviewing a psychologist-type person (I missed who it was exactly). He said that one of the reasons today's tragedy is so hard to predict is because many people fit the profile exactly but very few actually "snap." ...

 

This is the biggest problem. Those of you who are advocating more aggressive intervention - how do we decide who needs it? I'm so sad about what's going on in our schools, malls, & theaters, but I don't believe we should force treatment or institutionalization on someone without an imminent threat.

 

What about those who are, umm, "crazy" and can be violent, but it's more of the bar-fight violence type - should all of them be locked up indefinitely, too?

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This is the biggest problem. Those of you who are advocating more aggressive intervention - how do we decide who needs it? I'm so sad about what's going on in our schools, malls, & theaters, but I don't believe we should force treatment or institutionalization on someone without an imminent threat.

 

What about those who are, umm, "crazy" and can be violent, but it's more of the bar-fight violence type - should all of them be locked up indefinitely, too?

or worse - and I've seen people advocate for - locking up peope who are deemed crazy because they simply don't believe as you do.

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This is the biggest problem. Those of you who are advocating more aggressive intervention - how do we decide who needs it? I'm so sad about what's going on in our schools, malls, & theaters, but I don't believe we should force treatment or institutionalization on someone without an imminent threat.

 

Some of these people *have* been declared imminent threats. The Virginia Tech killer was declared a threat by a judge *before* he even started buying guns.

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I was listening to NPR earlier today. The host was interviewing a psychologist-type person (I missed who it was exactly). He said that one of the reasons today's tragedy is so hard to predict is because many people fit the profile exactly but very few actually "snap." He also pointed out that "snap" isn't the right word. In the case of mass murders, they are usually carefully planned. OTOH, like the pp said, FB comments care precede horrific events. How old is this person and is he seeing a counselor? Who would you tell if it is an adult? Without a direct threat I doubt the police could do anything. I'm not sure what I would do. :grouphug:

 

 

I heard that interview, too or another one. Whoever it was said after Columbine someone did a study of high school boys and found fully 25% fit the profile; it's a big profile.

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This is such a hard topic.

 

We had a foster boy assigned to us that never even made it our house as he became violent. He had had episodes of violence in the preceeding few days and then with my dh and later with the workers but they would NOT hold him for the 72 hours as he was not an IMMEDIATE danger to himself or others..........maybe in 1-2 hours he would be again but not IMMEDIATE. So sad. He ended up in detention but this child needed mental health services but we couldn't get them for him on an emergency basis.

 

My friends adopted a boy that we honestly could see doing something terrible like this. They have gotten him mental health help all along but now he is an adult and doesn't have to take meds, seek treatment, etc. He is a quiet kid, not in trouble with the law, etc. but there is just something about him that makes you wonder if he could be cold and calculating. His parents worry about this all the time but there is NOTHING they can do at this point.

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I've a friend whose dd attempted/threatened to kill herself several times over a two year period. she regularly saw a shrink (I will not dignify him with any other title) who kept telling her everything was her parents fault and to stay away from them. she was never given even a cursory neurological exam. finally, the state attempted to commit her, which requires many hoops. she was finally examined by a dr who paid attention, and during that three-day period things were found that led to more extensive tests that determined she actually had a massive brain tumor. (the tumor itself would have killed her in a matter of months.)

 

The man who sniped people from the tower in Texas had a huge, central tumor. I read on wikipedia he even asked that there be an autopsy to see if they could find out what was wrong inside.

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