Tuesday, August 19, 2014

'If only they had treated him before', by Wayne Drash, CNN

"Amy Bruce lost her life trying to help her son receive treatment for his brain disease. How many more families must endure these horrible tragedies before we realize that assisted outpatient or court ordered treatment (AOT) is NOT the last resort. Suicide or homicide is!" 

By Wayne Drash, CNN
Video by Brandon Ancil, CNN.
Photographs by John Nowak, CNN

When Will Bruce killed his mother, he believed she was an al Qaeda agent. His father wrested hope from the tragedy -- by seeing that his son finally got treatment. After seven years in a psychiatric hospital, Will is taking his first steps toward freedom.

Thanks to Wayne Drash for sharing Joe Bruce’s tragedy with such compassion! Read the entire story here: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/08/health/mental-illness-treatment/

"Court ordered treatment is not our last resort. Homicide or suicide is."

For my wife, Amy Bruce

by Joe Bruce
CARATUNK, Maine – On June 20, 2006, I opened the door of our simple home here on Main Street in western Maine to find the limp, bloody body of my beautiful wife Amy, my closest friend in the world and the love of my life. In a deep state of psychosis, our then 24-year-old son, William, had killed her with a hatchet, thinking she was an al-Qaeda agent.
Two months earlier, on April 20, 2006, Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, Me., discharged Will, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, three weeks shy of the 90-day involuntary commitment period ordered by our local District Court. Will had a history of violence, but he was released from Riverview without the benefit of any kind of antipsychotic drugs.
The days, months, and years following Amy’s death marked the worst time of my life, but it was also the start of something most unexpected: a journey into openness, emerging most recently this week with a CNN investigation into our family’s story, “If only they had treated him before,” by CNN senior producer Wayne Drash.