WE'RE HOPING SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, CAN HELP US by Nicole Finn

We're in need of some help and hope that someone may have suggestions. 

Six weeks ago, while in an acute psychotic episode in which he believed he was Jesus Christ, my brother, Rich, broke into a Pizza Hut, ate a pizza, drank a Mountain Dew and called 911 to self-report the crime. He admitted to having schizophrenia on the 911 call (a call that somehow managed to go viral as it was shared by radio and news stations around the globe as a comedy piece). Rich was arrested without incident and was placed in the High Point, North Carolina jail.

One could argue that he should have received a mental health evaluation prior to being placed in jail, but he did not. Nor does it appear he ever received an evaluation as he was left in jail for three full weeks. Not only was he left in jail, but he was also placed in segregation due to reported "bizarre behavior" with the seemingly continued lack of his much needed mental health care and medication.

At the three-week mark, Rich self-amputated his tongue and we still don't know if that happened in jail or in the ER. Now it seems the state is actually willing to place him in a psychiatric hospital, but this potentially life-long physical disability precludes him from being placed in the local psychiatric hospital which he should've been sent to in the first place. It appears that leaves the maximum security prison hospital as the only option for him to receive the mental health and physical care he needs while awaiting the court date for his crime. 

Rich is an adult and a ward of the state. As such, we've not been given access to any direct and meaningful medical information despite multiple and repeated requests to the Department of Social Services. They've been receptive to the sharing of information in the past and have relied on my mom (who lives in close proximity) for help when Rich had previous issues with meds and treatment compliance. Shutting the family out now is concerning. We're extremely worried about his well being, both psychologically and medically, but we're struggling to get access to him. 

We're open to suggestions anyone may have for resources to help Rich and/or our family gain access to his medical information so we can assist in making sure he's being properly cared for. Advocacy groups have been mostly unresponsive and/or unable to provide requested assistance when we've reached out. We're hoping someone, somewhere, can help us navigate this mess before it turns into an even bigger tragedy.

I just created a Facebook page specifically for Rich that provides more information about his situation. We're just feeling incredibly helpless and hopeless.

Click here to see Rich's Facebook page.

 Rich with his sister Brooke, his mom Alice, and his sister, Nicole

Rich with his sister Brooke, his mom Alice, and his sister, Nicole