The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Mental health experts: Survivor of Hudson tragedy, 10, likely to need therapy

Here is one of several articles I found in the Poughkeepsie Journal today.  This article talks about the mental health status of the little 10year old boy who saved himself while his mother and siblings plummeted into the water in the family van.

My heart aches for this little boy and his loss.  Of course he will need counseling to deal with such a tragedy so early in his life.  The real question is, will he ever get any?  There are more articles about this topic at the original site and I encourage you to click over and read all of them.  There are quite a few questions left unanswered.

Some of the articles infer that the mother was “acting strangely” before all of this happened.  There is an article about the father being jailed because he was caring for the toddler when people found that baby out wandering the streets.  All of this shows that there is quite a bit more to this story than is being reported.

What could possibly have driven a mother to do such a thing?  We may never know the answer, but we do owe this little boy something for his ability to survive, don’t we?

______________________________________________________________________________________________

To cope with Tuesday’s tragedy, La’Shaun Armstrong will likely require therapy throughout his life, mental health professionals said.

The 10-year-old Newburgh boy climbed out of his family’s minivan Tuesday as it sank into the Hudson River, claiming the lives of his mother, 25-year-old LaShanda Armstrong and his siblings, Landon Pierre, 5; Lance Pierre, 2; and 11-month-old Laianna Pierre.

Andrea Grunblatt, a Kingston psychologist and psychoanalyst, said the boy may face a range of issues from detachment disorder, to survivor’s guilt or post-traumatic stress disorder due to the loss of his family.

“It may be very hard for him to attach again,” she said.

Grunblatt suggested La’Shaun will need extensive therapy and said the question for him will be how he learns to manage his feelings.

Benefit cited

Kingston clinical social worker and therapist Linda McEvatt said La’Shaun may not require constant therapy throughout his life but may benefit from it at certain times, such as when he starts his own family.

“So much depends on a child’s constitution,” she said. “Children are very resilient .”

She and Grunblatt said children close to La’Shaun and his siblings or in the Newburgh community may experience their own anxieties in the wake of the incident and require counseling.

The death of a friends’ parent can be stressful, Grunblatt said, especially if that parent caused the death of others.

“How can you be sure your parents will not follow suit?” she said.

//

Reach Susan Campriello at scampriell@poughkee.gannett.com or 845-451-4518.

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April 15, 2011 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , ,

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