Experts say mental health crisis leads to tragedies -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Experts say mental health crisis leads to tragedies

Experts say mental issues is a growing concern across the country. (Source: WALB) Experts say mental issues is a growing concern across the country. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Gussie Reed (Source: WALB) Gussie Reed (Source: WALB)
Lisa Schexnayder (Source: WALB) Lisa Schexnayder (Source: WALB)
Dr. Mfon Inyang (Source: WALB) Dr. Mfon Inyang (Source: WALB)

GBI agents said that their investigation into the Albany Police officer fatal shooting on Wednesday in South Albany is ongoing, and could continue for weeks.

Investigators said that Albany Police officer Derrick Williams, 34, shot Robert Lee Brown, 55, around 5 in the morning outside his South Madison Street home.

Brown's family said that he received treatment for mental illness and was on medication which they believe he did not take before he died.

And those experts said it's not just Albany. They said there is a mental health crisis across the entire country, and it can lead to tragedies like Wednesday's death.

Brown's sister said her brother's death in a confrontation with a police officer was a shock.

"Robert, he on medication. He was supposed to have take a shot this morning," said Brown's sister Gussie Reed.  

Albany Mental health medical experts said that patients going off their medication is a crisis across the country, and often leads to violence.

"It can turn very, very bad very, very quickly," explained Phoebe Outpatient Behavioral Health Services Manager Lisa Schexnayder.

Psychiatrists said they often see patients who are not taking their medication have serious issues.

"We know very well that medications could also predispose people to such volatile states. When they stop it abruptly or take it the way not prescribed to be taken," said Phoebe Behavioral Health Center Psychiatrist Dr. Mfon Inyang.

Albany Police earlier this year won an award for officers undergoing crisis intervention training, to recognize and better deal with mental health issues.

Medical experts said the training is definitely needed.

"We still need to work towards working together more and more closely with it," explained Schexnayder. "I think you will be seeing more changes. And hopefully situation like this can be helped before it gets too bad."

Reed said that she was most upset because law enforcement was not giving her information on Wednesday. Reed's family said that GBI special agents and the Albany Police chief came to her house Thursday night and spoke with her.  

Officials are asking Brown's family and the community to be patient as the GBI works to complete their investigation.

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