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Several years ago, Karen Dunston-Carr decided to create TLC Light House to bring attention to the failing Mental Health System that landed her son in jail (in Solitary Confinement).  Her son was charged, convicted and sentenced to 4 years in prison, instead of being hospitalized to receive treatment for his mental illness.   


In 2010,  when my son was taken to the hospital mental health unit, my son and I were not given full information about treatment options.  Every patient should have a treatment plan that provides framework for the care, treatment and protection of people with mental illness, this plan should be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary.  Patient’s rights should be protected.  I keep asking myself the question; “How can they treat him if they don’t know current symptoms, past treatment response, side effects, medical and alcohol abuse comorbidity, and history of medication non compliance?”  I have been his caregiver since he was diagnosed with a mental illness.  Evidently, they were not interested in what I had to say.


The Bucks County Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation published a handbook, “Individual and Family Recovery/Resiliency Handbook”,  one of the goal’s in the handbook stipulates that “it is imperative to educate case managers and people who are diagnosed with a mental illness and to provide as many available choices for resources as possible in an attempt to support individual journeys toward recovery.” 


I wonder if the staff at the Hospital's Mental Health Unit read that handbook.   The vision statement instructs that “Bucks County Dept. of MH/MR wants to transform the behavioral health system into one which is responsive, capable and supportive of individual recovery and resiliency.”   I don’t think the hospital received that memo.   ~  Karen Dunston-Carr

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© Light House


Reported by Samantha Melamed:

(Philadelphia Inquirer) 


"Deal aims to end solitary confinement for seriously mentally ill prisoners in Pa."


Click here to read

PLEASE NOTE:  Before my son was arrested on September 2, 2011, he voluntarily commited himself on August 22, 2011 to Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, and on August 24th, they called me to tell me they were going to send him to jail if I didn't come get him.  I rushed to pick him up on Aug 24th...and later found out they gave him Haldol.  After taking Haldol he began to demonstrate defensive, impulsive, assaultive behavior.  I brought him to several different places that would not admit him because he has a medical condition  (a colostomy), so finally on Aug 27th he voluntarily commited himself to Jefferson hospital, and they did the same thing Belmont did, kept him for 2 days and released him to me on Aug 29th.  Four dayslater, on September 2, 2011 he was arrested...now he's a criminal!  ALL THIS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED!


Nobody should be punished for behavior that arose out of a common treatable mental health condition.  It is not a crime to have a mental illness so why are the mentally ill criminalized?


Haldol is the brand name for Haloperidol, it is an antipsychotic medicine.   It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain. haldol is good for treating agitation, aggressive outbursts and mania, but can also have some adverse effects, such as defensive impulsive assaultive behavior.

I need to find out why my son at times becomes defensive towards the people who are treating him.  He needs therapy to get to the root of it. He was never violent as a child, nor as a teenager.  He was always kind and gentle towards the elderly, children and animals.  Something happened to traumatize him.  I am trusting God to allow those that are treating him at Torrence State Hospital to find out why, and then treat him until he becomes normal again.

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TLC Lighthouse

1400 S Hanson St

Philadelphia, PA 19143


Please call us at: 215-609-2245 or fill out our contact form.

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