Mental Health Technician Charged in Teen's Death

need-an-ambulance-1512594A Norfolk teen has died at a Loudon County behavioral health facility. The 15-year-old was found unresponsive and not breathing back in November, 2017. While the identity of the victim has not been released, we know that an autopsy has revealed he died from positional asphyxiation. Police believe the mental health technician’s restraint techniques may have been to blame. The man has since been charged with involuntary manslaughter. 

Positional Asphyxia

This term refers to the loss of breath that happens when a person’s body is positioned in the wrong way. It is what was cited as the cause of death of New York’s Eric Garner. The man’s death made headlines in 2014 when he was tackled to the ground by police. His final words referred to the fact that he could not breathe. While we do not know specifics about this teen’s death, it is easy to draw comparisons between Garner’s death and this tragic loss.

Responsibilities of Mental Health Technicians

There is no denying that the mental health field is a challenging one. Employees must work with some of society’s most troubled members, often against their will. Teenagers who experience mental health issues are known to be especially stubborn. That is why it is so important for workers to be properly trained in restraint techniques that will prevent patients from harming themselves or others. If the investigation reveals that the employee allegedly responsible for the death was improperly trained or did not have the experience necessary to work with such patients, the parents of the victim could have a case on their hands.

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