A mother's fear: What might her son do next?
Gap in mental health help leaves parents concerned.
In the wake of the Newtown school tragedy, many parents have questions about mental health issues and their children. We spoke to a Central Oregon mother who wants to remain anonymous, but has great fears about her son's future actions.
"I might be that parent, going, 'Why did my child just do something so horrible?" she said.
After last week’s massacre left 26 people dead, 20 of them 6- and 7-year-old elementary school students, this mother fears not for the safety of her own son, but for the students around him.
Seeing the profile of the shooter, the mother is concerned that her son displays what she calls alarming similarities.:“He likes guns, things of that nature. He's tries to go after kids in the neighborhood, and we've had to stop him."
Some mothers around the country share her concern with their own children, saying they too fear what their sons are capable of.
She goes on to explain, “Our house is like a fortress -- we lock everything up, we don't have firearms in our house and lock everything up that could start a fire, we even hide knives."
She says her son has seen several doctors and has had many referrals to mental health specialists.
Barrett Flesh at Deschutes County Behavioral Health says, “There are services available. We try and get to every child most children are eligible for OHP (Oregon Health Plan) in our state, which is a great thing, so it allows us to try and provide those services."
Due to an increase in income, the Oregon Health Plan is no longer available to this family; trips to specialists are now an enormous financial burden.
The Central Oregon mother goes on to say, “The school staff doesn’t know what to do with him. They suspended him -- a 6-year-old -- they told me indefinite until we have a meeting and find out what to do with him."
After being transferred in and out of different school,s she says her son has no connections to people: "No, he doesn't have any friends."
Alone and scared, this mom can't help but feel she's failed her child.
"I'm scared some day I won’t be able to handle him, or he’ll get hold of a knife. You think, 'What am I doing wrong? Why did two of my kids turn out right and one didn't?'"
Terrified that some day, people may turn to her and wonder why she didn't do something to help her son. she says, "I wish someone could figure it out before he ends up like one of these kids who's shooting up the schools. I wish somebody would listen, that somebody would help."
According to the mother, Deschutes County Behavioral Health Services, has evaluated her son, but he is not under their treatment.
Officials tell us most of these issues are systemic and working with the whole family has a better outcome for the child and the adults.
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