Foundation 2 would like to highlight an article by Lee Rood from the October 10, 2015 Des Moines Register.
There is a real lack of options for supportive services for young people who are violent and have mental illness. You can read the entire article online here.
Debra Briggs couldn’t help but think of her 17-year-old son when news broke of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
Zachery Briggs is autistic, has a low IQ and a long history of violence. He’s smashed windows, attacked neighbors, injured caregivers and fought with police.
In theory, he should be the kind of youth who should be a priority for stable long-term, residential mental health treatment in Iowa.
But since 2010, when Zachary was made a ward of the state, he’s been bounced around the region — from Coralville, to La Crosse, Wis., Salt Lake City to Kansas City — when he was too much to handle or facilities could no longer meet his needs.
Debra Briggs learned at the end of September her son was being discharged yet again from an acute care facility in Kansas City. A worker at Iowa’s Department of Human Services checked dozens of places, but said she could not find a facility willing to take him.
“You can’t just put these kids on the street. People are going to get hurt,” the Davenport mother said, airing a heap of frustration. “We have to have more facilities to fit these types of kids. But they’re all full. They don’t have any room.”
Of course, the vast majority of youth with mental illness or developmental disabilities are not violent, but they still require treatment and services to prevent a litany of problems down the road.
Iowa has 80,000 youth who have been identified as having “severe emotional disruption,” or mental illness so severe they can’t fully function.
But the state has very few options for those with chronic mental health issues who are violent, several services providers say.
Read the rest of this article here.