Did the System Fail in San Antonio?

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Dave Mann

The AP is reporting that Otty Sanchez — the San Antonio mother who allegedly murdered her infant son — was suffering from postpartum psychosis, a rare but severe affliction that can result in hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and thoughts of suicide and infanticide.

Here’s yesterday’s post on this horrific case.

Members of Sanchez’s family have said she had a history of institutionalizations for mental illness.

These revelations raise the question of whether Sanchez was receiving any emergency mental-health services. And if not, how did she fall through the cracks?

The Legislature slightly increased funding for emergency mental-health services in 2007. But before that, the Legislature had historically short-changed them, along with much of Texas’ feeble mental health system.

So far we know that Sanchez had evidently been diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. The in-patient facility that had once housed Sanchez had reportedly called to check on her. And her erratic behavior had resulted in a call to police the day before the tragedy.

Did the system in San Antonio function as it should? There are some indications it might not have.

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Dave Mann is a former editor of the Observer.


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