Officials discuss mental health issues - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Officials discuss mental health issues

Chuck Mueller Chuck Mueller
Marya Grams Marya Grams

By Kristine Uyeno - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- It was a tragedy that rattled a Mililani Mauka neighborhood. In July, police say Michael James killed his wife and son, them himself.

"The Michael we knew was a fun-loving and a happy guy, we never anticipated this," said Charles James, Michael's brother.

Tuesday, his brother talked about him and his bi-polar condition.

"The person who committed these acts is not the Michael that we grew to love, and it's not the person we thought we knew," he said.

He spoke to local health officials. They discussed the status of Hawaii's mental health system.

"We're worried about falling back to where we were once before. We were once ranked 51 out of 50 states. It's a terrible embarrassment for us," said Chuck Mueller who's with the University of Hawaii's Dept. of Psychology.

Two years ago, the Felix Consent Decree was lifted and experts are concerned, services for kids, have declined.

"The Felix decree mandated that children with special needs, emotional and behavioral disorders, were served, because they had the right to have their disabilities addressed," said Marya Grams with the Mental Health America of Hawaii.

They believe groups in the industry need to find a better way to work together to prevent incidents like the one that happened to the James family, from happening.

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