Tuesday, April 6, 2010

'Kenny Chapman knew he needed help'

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Due to "the new normal" (aka Mecklenburg County budget cuts), it's estimated $2.5 million will be cut from the county's mental health services in the upcoming fiscal year. Last year, the county's mental health services were cut by the state by $5.7 million. At that time, the county helped to fill the gap with $3.7 million. For the upcoming fiscal year, however, the state reductions are still in force and the county can't help.

Kenny Chapman knew he needed help.

He saw shadows of people who weren't there. He felt inadequate, like he didn't belong. He'd been arguing with his wife - and was thinking about killing her.

So for the second time in two weeks, Chapman walked into Mecklenburg's mental health center and told doctors what was going through his head, according to records obtained by the Observer.

It was just after 2 a.m. on March 16 when Chapman filled out a questionnaire.

Why did you decide to come to the Emergency Department today?

Harm somebody

What do you expect from your visit to the Emergency Department today?

Help

Chapman, 33, spent the next four hours in interviews and observation - talking to nurses and doctors about his mental state, medical history and his worries. After a while, he told them he could refrain from hurting anybody, the records show. He was released around 6 a.m. with medication for anxiety and depression and instructions to call back for a therapy appointment.

But later that day, police say Chapman killed his wife, teenage stepdaughter and toddler - then lived in the home with the children's bodies for two weeks. Also in the home were his two other children, living a nightmare that would shock the city and bring veteran investigators to tears.

Read the rest of this Qcitymetro.com/ Charlotte Observer article here.

On the budget cuts:

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