Mental Health

‘Three Christs,’ Schizophrenia & Us

One does not have to go that far back in cinema to find another film besides Jon Avnet’s newly released Three Christs that is based on medical case history. There is, for example, Penny Marshall’s Awakenings (1990), which finds its source in Oliver Sacks’s 1973 account of the application of L-dopa, a then-recently formulated medication, […]

Prince George’s County‘s mental health programs don’t work. When will someone listen?

It’s Dec. 29, 1 p.m., and I’m at a hospital in Prince George’s County. The emergency room is packed with people with varying degrees of illnesses. Many have severe colds; others have flu symptoms. Some have broken ribs or fractures and cuts and bruises from domestic violence (and broken hearts). Sadly, some have come here […]

‘Suicide by cop’ is a persistent problem. Here’s how to prevent it.

IN AWARDING $3.65 million to the family of a 17-year-old who was fatally shot by a police officer responding to a “suicide threat” call, a Loudoun County jury sent a message to authorities. “We would like you to change your training,” said one juror, expressing the belief that there were options — other than immediately […]

These Homes for Mentally Ill Adults Have Been Notoriously Mismanaged. Now, One Is a Gruesome Crime Scene.

On the afternoon of Dec. 3, workers at the Oceanview Manor Home for Adults found resident Ann McGrory, 58, lying on the floor, lifeless, with her pants down around her ankles. She had cuts and bruises on her hands, head and face. By her side, seated atop his bed in Room 512, was resident Frank […]

Their kids died on the psych ward. They were far from alone, a Times investigation found

Mia St. John’s cellphone lit up with a message from the psychiatrist treating her son. The voicemail shimmered with hope, the first she had felt in months. The doctor said Julian, admitted to a psychiatric facility with schizophrenia, seemed more cheerful, was talking more with other patients and would soon begin a new art project. […]