Duxbury children’s deaths spark mental health treatment conversation

Doctors in Massachusetts are reminding people who are experiencing mental health struggles that they do not need to be in crisis to receive treatment following the deaths of two children in Duxbury. Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said first responders found three children unconscious and suffering from severe trauma inside their Summer Street home Tuesday night. Two of those children, 5-year-old Cora Clancy and 3-year-old Dawson Clancy, were pronounced dead at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth. The third child, a 7-month-old boy, is continuing to receive treatment at a Boston hospital. According to Cruz, the children appeared to have been strangled but the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is working to determine the cause and manner of the deaths of Cora and Dawson Clancy. Cruz said authorities are seeking to charge the children’s mother, Lindsay Clancy, with two counts of murder in connection with their deaths. Lindsay Clancy, 32, is being treated at a Boston hospital after she attempted to commit suicide, which is what prompted her husband to make a 911 call to Duxbury police, according to the district attorney. What makes the situation even more striking to some is that Lindsay Clancy worked as a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, creating the sense that coping resources can be near but feel out of reach.”It’s something that should be an open discussion from the get-go. You shouldn’t wait until you get to the point of: ‘I can’t get out of bed,’ ” said Chelsea resident Melissa Hulburt, the mother of a 7-week-old child. Hulburt is a 38-year-old first-time mother who has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She said she sought mental health support before delivering her baby.”It’s not something to be ashamed of,” Hulburt said.”A lot of people feel like they’re going crazy if they’re having really major mental health issues,” said Dr. Bobbi Wegner, a clinical psychologist and Harvard lecturer who founded the group connection platform Groops.”You feel a burden and wanting to absorb it, because you’re responsible and that adds to the loneliness for sure,” Hulburt said. Wegner said some red flags include feelings of loneliness, difficulty sleeping and having a hard time focusing.”I mean, there were definitely dark thoughts of: ‘Why? Why do this?'” Hulburt said.”The reality in a psychosis for the person experiencing it is very real. So voices that someone might hear, or visions someone might see, is as if you and I see reality,” Wegner said. “There’s generally an underlying mental health condition, and then there can be a change in consciousness that happens for the person that is a psychotic break.” Wegner said mental health treatment does not have to involve medication, and the most important thing is to talk to someone. Anyone who is having trouble and needs someone to talk to can call the nationwide suicide and crisis lifeline at 988. That lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours per day.

Doctors in Massachusetts are reminding people who are experiencing mental health struggles that they do not need to be in crisis to receive treatment following the deaths of two children in Duxbury.

Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said first responders found three children unconscious and suffering from severe trauma inside their Summer Street home Tuesday night. Two of those children, 5-year-old Cora Clancy and 3-year-old Dawson Clancy, were pronounced dead at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth. The third child, a 7-month-old boy, is continuing to receive treatment at a Boston hospital.

According to Cruz, the children appeared to have been strangled but the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is working to determine the cause and manner of the deaths of Cora and Dawson Clancy.

Cruz said authorities are seeking to charge the children’s mother, Lindsay Clancy, with two counts of murder in connection with their deaths.

Lindsay Clancy, 32, is being treated at a Boston hospital after she attempted to commit suicide, which is what prompted her husband to make a 911 call to Duxbury police, according to the district attorney.

What makes the situation even more striking to some is that Lindsay Clancy worked as a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, creating the sense that coping resources can be close but feel out of reach.

“It’s something that should be an open discussion from the get-go. You shouldn’t wait until you get to the point of: ‘I can’t get out of bed,'” said Chelsea resident Melissa Hulburt, the mother of a 7-week-old child.

Hulburt is a 38-year-old first-time mother who has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She said she sought mental health support before delivering her baby.

“It’s not something to be ashamed of,” Hulburt said.

“A lot of people feel like they’re going crazy if they’re having really major mental health issues,” said Dr. Bobbi Wegner, a clinical psychologist and Harvard lecturer who founded the group connection platform Groops.

“You feel a burden and want to absorb it, because you’re responsible and that adds to the loneliness for sure,” Hulburt said.

Wegner said some red flags include feelings of loneliness, difficulty sleeping and having a hard time focusing.

“I mean, there were definitely dark thoughts of: ‘Why? Why do this?'” Hulburt said.

“The reality in a psychosis for the person experiencing it is very real. So voices that someone might hear, or visions someone might see, is as if you and I see reality,” Wegner said. “There’s generally an underlying mental health condition, and then there can be a change in consciousness that happens for the person who has a psychotic break.”

Wegner said mental health treatment does not have to involve medication, and the most important thing is to talk to someone.

Anyone who is having trouble and needs someone to talk to can call the nationwide suicide and crisis lifeline at 988. That lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours per day.

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