Mindy McCready – committed suicide

Statistically, women comprise only 1/4 of those who commit suicide.  Usually with women, their suicide attempts are a cry for help.

Mindy McCready was, obviously, in that category. She had attempted multiple times and the last time slit her wrists.   Normally, women have a higher incident of depression, sometimes escalating to attempted suicide.

Psychologically, how could this celebrity downward spiral to this extent without a court-mandated order for her commitment to a facility?

At what point, does our system fail?

This is a horrible tragedy.  With her history of drug and alcohol abuse, multiple suicide attempts and serious depression, where were the mental health care professional?

I know the father of her child and her father had filed for “involuntary admission” to a facility.  I am unclear when this occurred, but I am sure we will find out.

McKnight (the father of the 6 year old) had filed in 2011 and three weeks ago when Mindy’s current fiancé committed suicide. This was a cry for help.  Psychologically, she needed help!

Even if she had been admitted to the hospital she would have been safe for a time. She would not be able to get out of bed without an alarm going off and they would have been able to monitor her and make the decision for an appropriate facility.

Emergency room visits from addiction in 2004 to 2009; have drastically increased from 63 – 117% depending on the addiction (drugs and/or alcohol).

What went wrong?  Did no one know her boyfriend had died three weeks ago and realize this as a red signal to a potential crisis?  Even, if it was a call the police for psychological evaluation.

The concern is what can we do legally, as psychological professionals to monitor any person who is suffering from depression, drug and alcohol abuse and serious signs of suicide risk.

Recidivism rates for drug rehabilitation facility admissions rate varies.

I interviewed the Director of 17 rehabilitation centers.  He told me that there was a 95% recidivism rate.  That is only a 5% long-term success.

There are three goals of the rehab facility; 1) Medically supervised withdrawal.  2) Minimum coping skills.  3) A 28-30 day program.  All a rehab facility attempts to do is treat their addiction, withdrawal and never addressed psychological underlining reasons for their addiction.  In addition, only 11% of chemically dependent people seek help from a rehab center.

Sentencing a person to a court order rehab program is really not helping them.  These rehab centers treat the symptoms and not the cause.  There may only be one counselor or psychologist on the site. These centers were never designed for psychological problems.  It may be the reason we hear about stars like Lindsey Lohan continuing to be in rehab facilities over and over with no effective resolution.

I would suggest a better way is a combination of the 30 day rehab and then on-going weekly treatment for a minimum of one year by a psychologist or counselor to get down to the root problem of their addiction. If this had happened, perhaps, it could have prevented her suicide. If she had missed an appointment, she would have violated probation and could have been mandated to a residential treatment facility.