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Suiside

Alldredge Academy, Alldredge Wilderness Journey, Ayne Institute, Greenbriar Academy for Girls, SUWS, School of Urban and Wilderness Survival.

Suiside

Postby StrokeSteve » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:01 pm



A wilderness treatment program where a 14-year-old boy killed himself in February has been ordered to close and to send children home to their parents.

Paul Nusbaum, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Resources, gave Alldredge Academy until Monday to carry out the order.

Any children or teens at the Canaan Valley camp at noon Monday will be taken into state custody, Wednesday's order says.

Alldredge Academy official Lance Wells said children would not be sent home.

"We're a little upset at the moment," Wells said. He said the company planned to fight the state's order.

DHHR investigators found Alldredge Academy did not have procedures in place to handle suicidal children. They investigated the camp after the death of a Massachusetts boy who had been at Alldredge for seven days.

On Feb. 12, the day before the boy died, he sliced his inner forearm from wrist to elbow. He told staff he did not think he could make it through the program, DHHR investigators found.

Alldredge staff returned the knife to the boy the next day and allowed him to keep the rope with which he hanged himself, the order says.

The boy was allowed out of sight of staff for about 15 minutes on Feb. 13. During that time, he died.

"The Department has determined that Alldredge continues to ignore the issues raised as a result of [the boy's] death in that staff have not been properly trained to deal with children with significant behavior disorders or those who threaten suicide," the order said.

Wells called DHHR's findings "false allegations."

"Certainly no students are in danger," Wells said. Sending young people home would be damaging, he said.

The state does not place children at Alldredge Academy. The wilderness treatment center does not collect state or federal money.

Because it calls itself a private school, not a behavioral health center, the state had no say over whether it opened. But the state is required by law to investigate child deaths or mistreatment, or sites where mental health services are provided.

Investigators also found:

Alldredge Academy owner L. Jay Mitchell identified residents who have had suicidal thoughts or attempts, but the treatment center lacked staff qualified to serve them. Mitchell and Weston White were identified as therapists, but they did not discuss the boy's suicide attempt with him when they met with his group on Feb. 13.

Staff consistently failed to notify police when residents ran away. They also failed to cooperate with police when residents violated the law.

Alldredge inappropriately mixed children who have severe behavior problems with others with milder problems.

Staff members administer mood-altering drugs but are not licensed to give these medicines. They are not trained or certified to assure they know how to recognize side effects or complications.

Alldredge has not provided another child's record to the state in a separate investigation.

Nusbaum also ordered Mitchell and Wells to provide the state with a list of all children at the camp, along with the names and addresses of their parents or guardians.

Alldredge officials have 30 days to ask for an appeal in an administrative hearing.

Parents pay Alldredge Academy about $17,000 for the three-month Semester Back program. As many as 56 boys and girls, ages 13 to 18, work through phases of the program. They start with wilderness camping, in which they go into the woods for several days, learn to work together and to make fire with flint and steel.

Later, young people move to a primitive village phase, and then to the school phase.

The program is aimed at young people who have behavioral problems. Families who turn to Alldredge Academy are usually in crisis, camp Operations Director Jim Morton has said.

Alldredge Academy is operated by the L. Jay Mitchell Group.

To contact staff writer Dawn Miller, use e-mail or call 348-5117.



A wilderness treatment program where a 14-year-old boy killed himself in February has been ordered to close and to send children home to their parents.

Paul Nusbaum, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Resources, gave Alldredge Academy until Monday to carry out the order.

Any children or teens at the Canaan Valley camp at noon Monday will be taken into state custody, Wednesday's order says.

Alldredge Academy official Lance Wells said children would not be sent home.

"We're a little upset at the moment," Wells said. He said the company planned to fight the state's order.

DHHR investigators found Alldredge Academy did not have procedures in place to handle suicidal children. They investigated the camp after the death of a Massachusetts boy who had been at Alldredge for seven days.

On Feb. 12, the day before the boy died, he sliced his inner forearm from wrist to elbow. He told staff he did not think he could make it through the program, DHHR investigators found.

Alldredge staff returned the knife to the boy the next day and allowed him to keep the rope with which he hanged himself, the order says.

The boy was allowed out of sight of staff for about 15 minutes on Feb. 13. During that time, he died.

"The Department has determined that Alldredge continues to ignore the issues raised as a result of [the boy's] death in that staff have not been properly trained to deal with children with significant behavior disorders or those who threaten suicide," the order said.

Wells called DHHR's findings "false allegations."

"Certainly no students are in danger," Wells said. Sending young people home would be damaging, he said.

The state does not place children at Alldredge Academy. The wilderness treatment center does not collect state or federal money.

Because it calls itself a private school, not a behavioral health center, the state had no say over whether it opened. But the state is required by law to investigate child deaths or mistreatment, or sites where mental health services are provided.

Investigators also found:

Alldredge Academy owner L. Jay Mitchell identified residents who have had suicidal thoughts or attempts, but the treatment center lacked staff qualified to serve them. Mitchell and Weston White were identified as therapists, but they did not discuss the boy's suicide attempt with him when they met with his group on Feb. 13.

Staff consistently failed to notify police when residents ran away. They also failed to cooperate with police when residents violated the law.

Alldredge inappropriately mixed children who have severe behavior problems with others with milder problems.

Staff members administer mood-altering drugs but are not licensed to give these medicines. They are not trained or certified to assure they know how to recognize side effects or complications.

Alldredge has not provided another child's record to the state in a separate investigation.

Nusbaum also ordered Mitchell and Wells to provide the state with a list of all children at the camp, along with the names and addresses of their parents or guardians.

Alldredge officials have 30 days to ask for an appeal in an administrative hearing.

Parents pay Alldredge Academy about $17,000 for the three-month Semester Back program. As many as 56 boys and girls, ages 13 to 18, work through phases of the program. They start with wilderness camping, in which they go into the woods for several days, learn to work together and to make fire with flint and steel.

Later, young people move to a primitive village phase, and then to the school phase.

The program is aimed at young people who have behavioral problems. Families who turn to Alldredge Academy are usually in crisis, camp Operations Director Jim Morton has said.

Alldredge Academy is operated by the L. Jay Mitchell Group.

To contact staff writer Dawn Miller, use e-mail or call 348-5117.
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Steve
StrokeSteve
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:54 pm

 

Suicied

Postby StrokeSteve » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:08 pm

SON DIES AT WILDERNESS CAMP, PARENTS SUE
THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE

12/20/2002

CHARLES SHUMAKER

cshumaker@wvgazette.com

The parents of a Massachusetts teen who hanged himself at a Tucker County wilderness treatment center say counselors neglected their son when he killed himself, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Ryan Christopher Lewis hanged himself using a tent cord, one day after showing instructors at the Alldredge Academy a slash on his arm where he tried to kill himself.

"Take my knife before I hurt myself some more," the 14-year-old reportedly said.

Alldredge Academy, now called the Ayne Institute, and the two founders, L. Jay Mitchell and Lance Wells, are named in the suit filed Thursday in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Lewis' parents, Diana and Paul Lewis, brought him to West Virginia in early February 2001 for a three-month program to get him back into school. The Alldredge wilderness treatment program for youths offered therapy through outings like hiking and camping.

Ryan Lewis was dyslexic and was being treated for depression when his parents applied to the program.

They noted on their application to the program that their son had attempted suicide twice before, the suit says.

A psychiatrist also noted that Ryan Lewis needed to be monitored for his depression.

During the first week, Ryan Lewis and several other youths ventured out for a month of camping and hiking, the lawsuit states.

A short time into that outing, Ryan Lewis allegedly went to instructors and showed them self-inflicted wounds. An instructor "exacted a promise" from Ryan Lewis that he wouldn't hurt himself again. The instructor returned the teen's program-supplied knife to him, the suit alleges.

Ryan Lewis then asked to call his mother so he could go home to Massachusetts. Instructors and counselors held a day of group and therapy sessions, but never addressed Ryan Lewis, the suit alleges.

On a trip to gather firewood later that evening, Ryan Lewis hanged himself.

Lewis' parents allege negligence and fraud in the suit, filed by Charleston attorneys Jim Lees and Stephen Jory.

The program promised their son a full-service therapy program that was innovative, comprehensive, therapeutically sophisticated and an effective therapy program, they allege.

They are asking that a jury award punitive damages for their son's death.

After Ryan Lewis' death, Mitchell and counselor John Weston White were indicted on child-neglect charges. Those charges were dropped after the center was fined $5,000.

The program costs $18,900 for each teenager that enrolls. It is marketed to wealthy parents of troubled children throughout the country.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources ordered the program closed after Lewis' death. Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom stopped that order when Alldredge officials fought it.

Alldredge closed in August, then reopened as the Ayne Institute. Ayne officials were ordered to follow more than two dozen DHHR rules and make regular reports on the program.

To contact staff writer Charles Shumaker, use e-mail or call 348-1240.
Steve
StrokeSteve
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:54 pm

Re: Suiside

Postby Neoliteit » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:05 am

There are certain things that I want and need to know.
Neoliteit
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:12 am


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