Friday, May 30, 2008

Tragedy in Calgary Reminds Us That Mental Health Issues Need Attention

I was at the CAHSPR conference this week and heard an excellent lecture from Gillian Mulvale on the Mental Health Commission. This story from Calgary just breaks my heart. The warning signs were there, family and friends were concerned enough to visit and talk but no one was able to stop this tragedy from happening.

CALGARY - Hard-working, devoted father Joshua Lall heard voices in his head and believed he was possessed by the devil before the mass killing that claimed his life and four others, sources told the Calgary Herald.
The fact investigators are focusing on Joshua Lall as the culprit is at odds with a lifetime spent making positive contributions.

He was a high-school valedictorian, track star and volunteer fundraiser for his local community association.
"Information is coming in by the minute, in terms of background information, family information," Slater said.

Another ominous sign that has come to light is a phone call Lall made to his parents in Ontario a few days before the killings.

The conversation was troubling enough to prompt his parents to book a flight to Calgary.

The flight, however, brought them to the city Wednesday night - too late to intervene before tragedy struck.

A close friend detected some anxiety from Lall during a visit a few weeks ago, but said it didn't appear to be more than what he and his wife could handle.
Lall was an intern architect at local firm Cohos Evamy, but called in sick on Monday.

On Tuesday, he asked for a week off.
Although people with mental illness often have a long history of psychiatric problems, experts said it's possible for some to not have any psychotic episodes until their 30s, brought on by anything, such as major depression, a thyroid disorder or other medical problems.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a tragedy.
It's too bad the medical profession would only have given him anti-depressants or anti-psychotic drugs. But there is a better way, through vitamin/mineral supplements.

Fri May 30, 11:15:00 AM EDT  

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