Letter From a Relative Regarding the Unfathomable Tragedy in Lakewood

The following letter was submitted to TLS by a relative of the family.

Good morning,

I am a relative of the 2 young girls that tragically where niftar in yesterday’s horrific event in Lakewood.

Firstly I want to thank you for your sensitivity towards the family by not initially posting much details about the incident.

However, I feel that at this point the general news media has learned about the story and they surely don’t care about the feelings of the family. The information they are providing to the public is not is the full picture to say the least.

Therefore I strongly urge you to reconsider your position on this matter and post the story in the most sensitive way possible, otherwise people will get the news from the general media.

Please, please, stress that the mother of the girls that committed this unthinkable act had a history of mental illness, specifically psychosis, though she was doing much better over the last year or so.

Apparently she tragically experienced some kind of psychotic episode without any warning signs at all, in fact we spent shavuos together and she seemed to be doing great. She is a frum ehrlicha sweet woman from a family of talmidei chachomim and yirei shomayim who nebach was stricken with this unexplainable episode. Hashem yirachem.

There simply are no words to describe the shock and pain.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


    • Time for klal yisroels serious wake up call for serious teshuva and Achdus together immediately.

      For so much horrific tragedies rachmana litzlan to hit klal yisroel in just the last 2 weeks from this family tragedy to many gedolei hador being Niftar this past week among them harav Moshe Wolfson ZTL and a few other gedolei hador rachmana litzlan to our brethren Torah on the life of joining the army……….

      Will we finally stop living in denial and instead FACE REALITY and openly confess to Hashem and accept Hashems wake up call for serious teshuva and Achdus together worldwide like we all did in the story of Purim and our lives were saved because of it.

      We don’t need any more tzaros to Chas Vshalom hit klal yisroel to wake us up from denial and FACE REALITY.

      May we all accept Hashems wake up call for serious teshuva and Achdus together as one loving nation so Hashem can send mashiach already bkarov.

      May the innocent neshamos have an aliya with the entire family having a nechama.

      • Beautiful Emes.
        We are all one neshama and we are in this together.
        We need to do what it takes to bring yeshuos and nechamos to a nation in tzaar, with the Geulah Sheleimah, bekarov.

  1. Lakewood can be very chalenging for people from getting your kids into school, or to pay tuition or rent or general bills. Traffic and carpooling. Emosions. Many people are suffering and don’t even go for help.

  2. I for one thank you, a relative who is suffering tremendously, taking the time to reach out.
    I believe anyone with a heart can intuit that much more than dry details contributed to this heartbreaking and gutwrenching loss and episode.
    Am Yisroel will stand with your family, with heart and tefilos. Min HaShamayim Tenachamayhu.
    Grieving with you!

  3. Dearest relative,
    I prayed to Hashem all last night and this morning to send your whole extended family the support , strength and resources to deal with this all.
    Thinking of you 💭
    Your sister in Lakewood

  4. There was a similar episode in ey with in the last few years from a father to his sons.

    Mental Illness is real and is an Illness.

    HKBH gave these children to this mother and gave this mother this Illness.

    We can cry for the pain that everyone in the family is experiencing and daven for everyone to heal.

    • Ty for this letter. I know the situation personally and no one can understand that this was a growing and sweet and gentle person. She was a caring mother. Obviously the media will portray this as some monster but this is not the case at all. R”l there was random episode unlike anything that happened before and this occurred. Please please be sensitive to the situation and may hashem bring everyone a nechama.

      • In what way is a literal murderer a sweet and gentle person? I understand that she had a psychotic breakdown, but calling someone who murdered her children in cold blood “sweet and gentle” is uncalled for.

        • Because that’s what mental illness does. It robs the person’s mind away from them. Their brain becomes hijacked from the illness. The healthy them would never do it.

        • Your question lacks understanding of the very definition of psychosis. A person experiencing a psychotic episode is seeing and hearing and interacting with people that seem as real to them as anyone you interact with. Imagine a completely normal, “sweet and gentle” person experiencing what they believe is a visit from a navi telling them to commit an act to save Klal Yisroel. The visit reocurrs, is vivid, becomes more and more intense, it’s as real as anything you experience. In that scenario a sweet and gentle person could indeed do what was done – it’s not cold blood – it’s mental illness.

  5. this tragedy and the past few are obviously some sort of message Hashem is sending us. it takes a gadol to tell us it , my heart tells me its the message of life, that we have to start appreciating and being there and caring for every single yid, there are so many yideen right now going thru so many hard times , alone , and we have to start caring , I’m not a gadol , but that’s my two cents.

    • Help shmelp. I struggle with mental illness for years. And what have people done? Nothing. Oh, they say they want to help, sure. They say they care, sure. But at the end of the day, mental illness is judged and I am judged by all around me. I work on myself every single day, I get the help I need even though the expenses are astronomical, but going through high school with mental illness and being in the work force now for the past 2 years since I came home from seminary, nothing has changed. The world has spoken, accidents have happened, awareness was tried to be brought out. But nothing changed. It’s still a secret. It’s still hidden. It’s still a stigma and it’s still hush hush. I did not choose to have this illness over cancer or diabetes or Parkinson’s or down syndrome, but if I would have had a choice I would have chosen all 5 of the above over mental illness, for some reason mental illness means you’re sick, there is something wrong with you, physically, socially, emotionally, mentally and everything else. So if you want to help out those struggling with mental health, then help. But don’t talk. Don’t just say. Do something. Talk is cheap and kills us more than anything. Bh I have extremely supportive parents who are there for me and understand me, and help me with my challenge and I am getting all the help I need. But I know unfortunately many people who don’t have that support and really need it from normal regular people but the stigma and judgment on mental illness is horrendous. There is a lot more that can be said on people with mental illness, but the main thing I can stress if that if you want to help, you want to understand and you want to be there for the mental health community, DO SOMETHING, DONT JUST TALK!!

      • I read your comment. I am trying to understand you.
        I would like to mention that your last statement is extremely sharp.
        If you knew for sure that every commentator above was younger than you and you feel that you need to give them a sharp Mussar comment, then I can begin to try to understand a little bit part of the picture. Maybe some of the commentators above is old enough to be your great grandfather.
        I don’t think he will be excited to have a young girl yelling at him.
        In the merit of talking like a Mentsch and in the merit of judging another Yid in a favorable manner (giving people the benefit of the doubt), Hashem should bentsch all the people of Klal Yisroel that are struggling with mental issues, they should all be
        זוכה לרפואה שלמה בתוך שאר חולי עם ישראל

        • Wow. Just wow. Is this the response to some struggling with mental health? To call her not a mentch and to put her down like that? Is that the kind of support we need to give everyone now? To tell them to judge people favorably, yet we judge them? Sometimes it hurts to get mussar, and we can still understand another person whether the person being given mussar is older or younger or even older or even younger. Beach has nothing to do with mental health struggles. @mentalhealthstruggler good for you for speaking up, it’s very hard and I can relate. I have a daughter around your age who struggles to and it’s very hard when everyone talks and talks and there is little done. Somehow we can raise 1.2M for yeshivos, but to stop the cycle of mental health that streams through families, we can’t even raise enough to cover therapy for one person for one year. Yes, it’s time to DO, not just SAY. Thank you!

          • If my comment hurt anyone, then I would like to retract it.
            I was just trying to help everyone simultaneously.
            I honestly believe that I gave her a million dollar advice. It is not my
            חפץ חיים זכר צדיק וקדוש לברכה
            He gave this Bracha and he also said that it’s
            In the Torah.
            If a person perfects the Mitzva of
            לדון את חבירו לכף זכות
            He will for sure merit so many beautiful
            From the
            תורה הקדושה
            I am trying to help that girl.
            I have no intent and I have no interest whatsoever to
            חס וחלילה
            Hurt the feelings of another human being.

      • @mentalhealthstruggler I too suffer from mental health, especially through high school and seminary. BH I was able to work through it (without a support system) and I’m doing ok now thanks to therapy and creating a support system.

        If you’d be interested, I’d love to talk to you. You can text me at my Google Voice Number I use for privacy. (732)(moderated)

      • Honestly I can relate very much to struggler. The community is very good at encouraging those that need help to go for it but when it comes down to paying for the expert care needed there is literally zero funding…

        • thank you for your support. while i am trying to have the benefit of the doubt and understand @avraham, i truely feel that its people like him that make my struggle harder. having a mental illness, i would NEVER EVER judge another person and what they are, and therefore i am not judging @avraham, but @newyorkerinlakewood, yes, sometimes people dont realize they are bullying. this is what i mean by doing things for people with mental illness. one can SAY that they are becoming more aware of mental, but a person who DOES something about it, would not respond in such a way to someone with any sort of diagnosis. they just would not.

      • Dear Struggler, sorry you are going through this.

        I’d like to make some comments based on what I can read in and in between the lines of your comment.

        – I have no details of your challenge, but know that diagnosis can be distributed like candy. Stuggling emotionally doesn’t mean that you have any illness.

        – It’s very apparent from your comment that there are mountains of hurt and distress within you regarding the struggles you continue to face. If the help you are getting doesn’t address this effectively head-on, are you sure that you are seeking the right help?

        – I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life unraveling decades of pain due to a traumatic childhood. There are dozens of healing modalities that exist – that are effective. If what you are doing isn’t cutting it – open your horizons and seek another method that gives you the freedom you are looking for.

        – Don’t expect “normal and regular” people to do anything but talk. Someone who sees themself “above” emotional help – is a sitting duck for a slap in the face when the time comes. There is no personal growth without understanding your emotions. That is why most people never grow. “Normal and regular people” is a facade.

        – Don’t place your blind trust in “professionals”. They know what they know, and often don’t recognize where they have blindspots – giving the false confidence that they know everything. Do your research and find a healing method that gives you relief effectively. Then seek a professional who specializes in that method – so you can go deep with them in a safe environment.

        – Lastly, you are an intelligent human being. You have the capacity to understand and help yourself. Don’t get blindsided by this false notion that “someone else needs to fix me”. Find a way to help yourself by researching and finding a healing method that gives you the relief you seek. Then double down and help yourself. You’ll surpass everyone you know by lifetimes.

        • Thank you. I have tried everything you can think of and just about a year ago finally found a modality that works for me and bh with the help of my parents and therapist I am on the mend. The hurt I am expressing is the talk talk talk. For year everything has been about talking and not doing and that’s where the pain is. I know that no one can fix me, and I don’t even expect therapist to fully heal me, and I am understanding my own emotions very well bh. It’s the talk talk talk that got me there. Thank you for your kind words, I can tell you are someone who understands.

          • I don’t know your struggles and I wish you well. I would like to say something regarding your opinion on talking. From my own experience, the talking helps. It takes away the power a bad situation or experience has over you. The talking is where insight and epiphanies often come from. Don’t discount how important talking can be. And please don’t label yourself based on a diagnosis. You are more than some label. I’m beginning to think that “normal” is actually the abnormal based on what I’m seeing in this world. Normal seems to be all the labels given so freely.

      • Before Doing something and even not Talking the 1st thing that is need is to alow oneself to be Silent from SHOCK!

        The 1st step in being Nosei Be’ol with another is to be silent and leisten and feel how the evil that is happening to the other person is beyond words.

        And form this tate of wordlessness form this state of beig clueless as how to appraoch this form that to seek to grow out of it an action like you said of being Nosei be’ol.

        When the Talmidei R’ Akivah saw him at his execution thay asked him Rabbeinu Ad Kahn!?!?!?!?!?

        Thisis how we must be we must approach the Bad and the evil and the tragic as “Ad kahn.”

        So really doing is what we would need to seek but at 1st we are stuck and bewildered as to “What can be done.”

        Thisis what we must ask Hashem! Just like Talmidei R’ akivah and Just like Aharon Hakohen and not just jump into right away saying this or that or even doing.

        1st we need to mhave heart and be with the person in their pain aand seek doing but then realizing we are speechless!

        On that basis can we even start to seek what the torah ahs in stroe in terms of doing for the person in the tradgedy and then somehow to carry that Torah work together with the person that is stuck in the pain and suffering. And then hopefully carry it with THEM THEM THEM.

        But the 1st reality and reaction and experience is to be silent with the flood of “The IMOSSIBLITY of the situation.”

      • Part of the problem is that one who has mental illness is often judged by society and shunned by society , which then exasperates the feeling of loneliness which then cause more mental illness and on and on………

        • @Alan The flipside may also be true that the person with mental illness needs society more than ever but due to the trevails and hardships and injustices experienced by that person at the hand of society – due to possibly even being provoked by the person that has emotional and mental illness themselves – now that person so in need of the life force being part of society offers may push society away!

          Thereby bring about a situation worse than a ‘metzorah’ where at least the ‘metzorah’ is yearning the whole time to get back into society but people with such deep illness and trauma may have burned all their bridges R”l and worse seek to activly war against society to burn any new bridge possible.

          It sound crazy but this may very likely happen and between society pushing the person away and the eprson pushing society away there is a double distance bteween the person and society and that is such a lonliness that it is a real tradgedy that causes each day to be worse than the day before.

  6. Dear Relative
    This is probably the most important post for all to read since this tragedy occurred.
    Your family is surely in agony and yet you came and shared words of wisdom with the terrified public. Hashem should comfort all of you at this trying time.

    There are so many posts telling people if you need help, get help. A post like this however urges those struggling with mental illness, a very real sickness like any other sickness, to please treat it like you would any other illness.

    This level of tragedy is unusual but if you struggle and know you may get out of control, it’s crucial to get the proper treatment. You’d be shocked how many people are on the ride with you taking medication. It’s not something to be ashamed of. If anything to be proud of that you are responsible.

  7. Thank you for your extremely sensitive and important letter. I cannot fathom the pain you are going through and feel terrible for your entire family. May you and your entire family only have besuros tovos and the ultimate nechama bekarov.

  8. I was so saddened about this terrible tragedy. I don’t know any details but I do want to say that a lot of people need professional help to deal with many facets of mental illness (anxiety ocd depression etc) People cannot afford the prices that these professionals DEMAND Their price are off the chart. For example $250 for 3/4 hour for a social worker) Even people who earning $300,000 can’t possible afford these fees on a on going basis especially with tuitions, mortgages food on going remedial therapy’s for their other children and on and on. Why were we able to raise $140 million for Benei Torah in no time, which I think is fabulous. Bottom line the stigma of reaching out for help is much more acceptable. It’s the costs that are keeping people away!!!!!!

    • Hi Annoymous

      lakewood has some great clinics which are mostly free to the patients, check out LCSC or chemed, these clinics employ some of the best therapists around

    • Correct. I am involved with a family that the parents and children are going to therapy due to a parent with mental illness. The Some children need once and others need twice a week. The costs are $250-350 per visit. That is over 60K per year on Therapy. This is not small chunk change. And not all therapist are the same.

      • You can always call Perform Care. It’s funded through the state, it’s free and they provide therapy in your home for the children, they offer parenting, mentors, and many of the therapists are excellent

    • Mental health professionals need to earn a living too. They have to pay for their office rent, they have to pay for continued education so their license is up to date and they pay for supervision, someone who can direct them with an objective option and professionalism.
      Lowering the cost of therapy and psychiatry isn’t an option and it isn’t the solution.

  9. to the honorable Scoop,
    we as klal yisroel have gone through too much we should band together and work on healthy solutions in all areas of life
    Hamakom yenachem

  10. To anonymous who posted about the cost of therapy: There are multiple clinics in Lakewood that serve the community with practically free therapy. There are also many special therapists who see clients on a sliding scale. Those looking for resources should reach out to Relief. Help is out there if you are looking for it.

    • Actually, I tried the lower costs clinics & found that they are mostly staffed by newer therapist’s who didn’t have the experience needed for my daughter & I pay $225 a 45 minute session weekly. They certainly aren’t up to dealing with the huge numbers of marital counselling needed in this town. In addition, Relief only refers to private pay therapists so there’s no way to get a referral to a therapist working at a clinic.
      Social work out of the Frum community is not a high paying job. Because we can only use a Frum therapist, there is a big shortage of well trained counsellors right now which is causing the cost of therapy to explode. The solution is for an organization to incentivize more qualified people to enter the field.

      • For marital counseling we use someone who takes $350 an hour!!! Recommended by the experts (and not super effective if I may say) just milk us dry…

    • Unfortunately the clinics cannot help someone with this degree of mental illness and more complex cases. There is a huge huge shortage. Someone in a crisis can’t afford $300 an hour and not everyone has rich relatives

  11. I do not know the proper words to say in Hebrew, but my heart breaks for the family and friends of these children. May they be at peace.
    I offer my deepest condolences to the grieving families.

  12. Let’s get real, the clinics are in no way equipped to deal with real issues. When you need real treatment you’re forced to find someone on private practice and we all know that they don’t accept insurance.

    It’s a very sad reality, but unless you have the extra 30k a year to get proper mental health counseling, you’re not going to get what you need.

      • Can you expand about this insurance and how that would work with private practice that doesn’t except insurance? I do think this info can be beneficial to many that are reading this.

        • Out of network insurance is only through an employer plan. And if your employer doesnt offer it, then its not an option. You cannot buy into this plan. Most employers do not offer it because the cost for them is major. Been there. Buying into this plan costs your salary around 30K. America + insurance = money making business

      • As my daughter needed to go to a residential facility for a few months we did get private insurance. It cost almost $700/month for a single individual.
        I was extremely surprised that there are NO therapists that accept her private insurance! Whoever accepts her insurance accept medicaid as well which she has so basically the insurance that I pay a few hundreds per month doesn’t help me at all!!
        If I’m mistaken, I would love for someone to correct me!

  13. My deepest condolences for the loss of your precious family members.
    As an outsider looking in, i start by saying that my comment is not based upon religion and/or gender.
    Mental health issues are REAL, everywhere. Too often, the stigma that comes with attempting to get help, steers individuals away from obtaining the proper help. Our health care system is broken.
    We (meaning, everyone) have a moral obligation to stay alert, and help those individuals in crisis.
    It is my opinion, that SOCIETY, as a whole, failed these children and their mother. We must do better! Let’s become more aware and help. Kindness is needed again.
    Again, i truly extend my deepest condolences to the families and the community for this horrific tragedy.I mourn with you.💔💔🙏🙏🙏🙏

  14. This is very unfortunate and may hashem help the teiara neshamos as well as the mother who clearly needs mental help and the father who will definitely need some help now. We should use this as an opportunity to help people who need the mental help and not brush it under the rug.

  15. Dear relative – your letter means so much to many of us who are grappling with this horrific tragedy and yet want to be able to make some sense of this tragedy and more importantly have the right feelings towards the mother. Obviously there’s a lot we don’t know but by you coming forward and providing some really important facts has really helped us to that end and many in the community are deeply grateful to you. Our hearts are with you and the entire family at this trying time..

    • 100%.
      I applaud your courage and foresight in being forthcoming during this personal tragedy, allowing the ‘judging’ and the unnecessary and insensitive chatter to be somewhat mitigated. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity instead to grieve over this incomprehensible tragedy, and to exercise sensitivity. Wishing you and your family comfort during this trying time.

  16. This is heartbreaking and sad and the community should offer services and do better and assist in treating people with mental illness to avoid tragedies like this from happening.

    Unfortunately I see on many goyshe Facebook groups out there that the cats out the bag and the story is out here with the mothers photo, name and arrest sheet and regardless of the mental illness, in the comment section they portray the mother as a monster. (Hashem yerachem)

    May there holy neshomas have an Aliyah sending comfort and healing to the families. Amen

  17. Just two days after the historic visit by the gedolim and this unprecedented tragedy happens. It must be connected! What is Hashem trying to tell us?

  18. המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים. Please know the tzibur charedei feels for the situation and is with the family at this unimaginable time.

    I think it’s important to recognize that mental illness as evidenced is all too real and must be addressed by professionals.

    Regrettably, often in cases of divorce there are false accusations of mental illness used as a tool in fighting. This is wrong on many fronts and must cease!

  19. There is NO words to describe the pain of this family. There is NO need to add more pain to this open wound.
    There is no need to discuss this situation in public which will only add salt to the wound.
    We should all be mispallel for the mother and the family that they should overcome this terrible tragedy.

  20. What happened is traumatic. Mental illness is real and this case is very extreme. I know people that have mental illnesses that take their medication daily. As not to have any relapses. They live normal lives and are not dangerous. We need to all daven for mashiach!

  21. In the Catholic faith, I will say my prayer tonight for the children and the person who (allegedly) committed this unspeakable and horrific act. In times and situations such as this faith and prayer has no borders.

  22. This is a tragedy no one should have to experience. It is so important to reach out to others and truly make sure they’re doing well. Look for people who seem alone, or are less social than they were. More importantly, we should focus more on mental illness in the community- signs to watch for, teach our kids to encourage others to speak up, recognize that there are treatments.

    Mental illness is scary and isolating. I believe too many are afraid to speak up because it will prevent their sibling from finding their kallah, their baby from being placed in the right school. But this is where everyone must band together and help those in need.

  23. First off, my sincere condolences to the family and everybody suffering during this tragic time. I also want to compliment the family member for bravely writing this letter, as I think it was needed and sheds light on what unfortunately happened.

    With regard to people trying to pin this on the Lakewood lifestyle, let me be very clear: Please don’t use this to push the wrong agenda.

    While Lakewood, Jackson, Toms River and the surrounding areas certainly has many issues and flaws, this particular incident was not a result of the school crisis or high tuition or the traffic or any other asinine reasons mentioned by other commenters above.

    It was as a result of somebody who sadly was afflicted with a severe mental illness.

    Another poster stated that mental illnesses are not bound by zip codes, and that’s very true.

    I do hope this will serve as a wake up call for many in the community to seek help if they need it, and for others who don’t need help to not judge those who do.

    Maybe we all come out of this incident stronger and more united.

  24. What happened is beyond our human comprehension and emotions. We know that Hashem is a rachman and he loves those children more than the healthiest parent could have loved them, Hashem only does good and has reasons beyond our comprehension and those pure neshamos must be really high up. As humans we are expected to sit shiva and feel intense pain and mourning, may Hashem give everyone the strength to deal with this tragedy.

    As far as Mental health I read the comments above from the people with experience seeking the funds, clinics etc. and can say from my observations with people I know that they are all right on point.

    I strongly believe a new organization must be created with the level of care management and funding as there is with Cancer and and all the organizations that support patients like Chai Life Line and many more etc..

    I may start this organization with a vision that sees assigned care mangers who follow each patient to ensure they don’t quit or have other challenges with therapy and just give up chas veshalom.

    Please join me in this mission!

    • I envision a “Misameach” like care center which is staffed by HS and post Sem volunteers that can play, feed and care for children of suffering parents. It’s a tremendous strain on a spouse to deal with the sick parent, all the children, earn a parnassah and keep up with household chores. It’s nearly impossible for them to be with children 24/7 and juggle all the other balls. I dream of a safe, no judgment place where the children can be left for a few hours to give respite.

    • Please it’s a very big need! Like someone said above, stigma of mental illness is no longer, but it’s the money that prevents people from getting help. Often financial issues are a big source of the stress to begin with. Hashem should bentch you or anyone who is able to do this.

    • @ Shalom,
      Maybe you are the reason that Hashem put it into Lakewood scoop editors hearts to leave this comment section open….. Comments about this “news” will not help anyone in pain right now,( and don’t even try to justify yourself if you put out a comment with blame, or with name calling due to someone else’s way of processing this event.. only thing you can do is teshuva, and have your comment removed)
      Comments with sincere sympathy toward the letter writer and the family, and,
      Comments with real time ideas and call for action with a plan, like what you are saying Shalom, are likely the only comments right now that can actually do good…….

      To all family and friends,
      If I would walk by you on the street I would want to hug you and tell you sorry for all the judgement out there…. sorry for all the gossip….
      When people lose two family members due to some virus, they receive a lot of warmth and sympathy, without prying questions or accusing stares….. You deserve the same.

      There will likely be some initiatives, some organizations, some ideas like Shalom’s starting soon etc..
      If you are not in position to be the ones doing something , then take the oppurtunity to be a supporter of the initiatives, even if the idea sounds new to you, ask your Rov and give it a chance with his approval…. When it comes to mental illnesses, people who are uninformed can view it as “why make a big deal”, or “kids grow out of lots of behaviours etc”, try to be open-minded, and sensitive to others with different views… this is a vulnerable time…

      One idea is maybe schools and camps requesting forms, just like you must have updated medical forms as part of the application process. Maybe less cases will fall through the cracks if the parents would be forced to be more in tuned to their childrens emotional wellbeings annually, and more red flags will be picked up sooner….

  25. it is very sad that this tragedy happened no one should ever have to experience this.
    the difficulty with mental health is it is not predictable one never know when something will trigger an episode or fallback even when they are on medication.
    May Hashem provide comfort to this stricken family and other families who are dealing with mental health in their family.

  26. Funny cause there was a son who stabbed his mother to death in Howell and Lakewood scoop was more than happy to post about it, the scoop didn’t give any thought to the family of the woman. News is news.

  27. The term “mental illness” is incredibly broad. Talk therapy, with or without some mild medication, is useful for most mental illnesses.

    But the relative, in this case, reports that the mother has a mental illness including psychosis. A history of psychosis narrows down the diagnoses to just a few possibilities which require very severe pharmaceutical treatment and are due to biochemical abnormalities in the brain which have substantial genetic causes. Psychosis usually indicates schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or a mix thereof.

    Son-of-Sam was a schizophrenic. John Hinkley Jr. is a schizophrenic. Schizophrenia is a progressive disease where patients deteriorate in their ability to function. Many street-people are schizophrenic. The vast majority of schizophrenics are not violent. Most schizophrenics have histories of being hospitalized, getting tuned-up on their medications, and then leaving the hospital until they realize that they are normal, they don’t need their medications, and then the cycle begins again.

    It is difficult for normal people, who have not interacted with schizophrenics, to understand the level of their thought disorder which progresses with more scrambling of their minds, visual or auditory hallucinations, loss of ego boundaries, creation of nonsensicle words or sentences (called word salad), and much, much more.

  28. I had a rosh yeshiva in yeshiva about 25 years ago tell me there is no such thing as mental illness as its the yetzer hara telling someone to act on impulse, once you are a bar or bat mitzva you are 100% responsible FOR EVERYTHING and that is how I live, I never go to any “professionals” so its insensitive to blame on this mental illness.

  29. In my humble opinion, this poor mother & her children are the canary in the coal mine. B”H this level of dysfunction is very rare, however, as a community, mental illness is still severely stigmatized & people are therefore resistant to seek help. When they seek help, it’s often beyond their ability to pay for the professionalism they need. Our community will pay $1 million to fund the birth of a child but if that child needs psychotherapy & can’t afford it, the parents have little recourse. It’s time for us to acknowledge that mental illness is striking all ages in our community & we need the resources to address it.

    I also believe that the Rabbonim should issue recommended guidelines how much psychotherapists should charge. Just like we realize that the costs of chasunah are unsustainable & takanos were made, as a community, we need our leadership to give recommendations in the area of mental heath costs.
    An associate at Relief told me that the cost per sessions for psychotherapy have become ridiculous.

    An alternative would be to incentivize many more people to enter the field by helping out with scholarships & have an agreed upon max fee schedule for a number of years after graduating school.


  31. I am a very dear friend of hers. Very very close. I’m a shaken by this. But we have to understand that the fact that this is one incident from all of hatzolah’s calls – clearly this isn’t the norm.

    I hope with my entire heart it truly was an isolated episode and that family were fully supportive and did all they could at all times.

    My heart is shattered. Sending strength to the family.

  32. David, if you are repeating what your Rosh yeshiva said accurately, he needs to find a different profession. He is coming from a very naive and ignorant standpoint. Mental health is not made up and its very real. How do I know? Because I suffer from it and bh its under control, but before I had it under control it was extremely difficult. People that rl kill themselves are not in the right frame of mind to even contemplate what they have done, that is why we make regular levayos for them. For you to just sweep it under the rug is plain and simple evil. Hashem did not create everyone the same, some people are mentally stable and some are not. You cannot claim that someone who is mentally unstable is held to the same account in shamayim as a mentally stable person

    • I absolutely HATE when people think suicide is funny or that the person was a weakling who couldn’t deal with ‘regular life’ after they actually dealt with unbearable physical pain which – and people don’t realize this – is a sharp symptom that mental illness has in addition to the searing emotional pain.

  33. To those asking about the cost of therapy there are websites like Alma and Headway where you can scroll and find therapists that are covered by insurance. There are great therapists covered by insurance it’s time people learn how to find them……

  34. To all those commenting on the price of therapy, including that even one making 300K can’t afford therapy (or obviously any other luxuries):

    I have no intention to minimize the challenge to affordable mental health treatment. And yes, how nice it would be if there can be a communal solution to this problem. However, blaming therapists for their fees is not the solution to this problem.

    Therapists are also entitled to make a living. A therapist in private practice charging $250 a session is making about 300K. So he/she him/herself won’t be able to afford a luxurious life. We all know how expensive Jewish life has become. A therapist in private practice has typically gone through years of schooling, training, supervision all of which cost enormous amounts of money. They also typically continue paying for on-going supervision, their own therapy and trainings. They also spend years interning for free,
    and working for pennies at clinic settings. They are engaged in a very difficult and stressful job. Shouldn’t the be able to charge a fee that will allow them to at least cover their living expenses?

  35. Specifically in complex situations, agencies provide an extra level of care and oversight. The person can receive their therapy, medication and case management under one integrated team. We are so fortunate in Lakewood that we have these amazing places LCSC and Chemed. My family is eternally grateful for the excellent care received.

  36. We are so blessed to have excellent low cost therapy options in Lakewood ie LCSC, Chemed and others. I appreciate that there is always a supervisor on top of the therapists.

  37. Thank you for this post/article.

    Lakewood has grown to unbelievable size with so many organizations there for others in need. But the town is a city and more effort, Advocacy and coordination as well funding is required to create a full servicing organization to deal with this. From school age to high school to young adults, newly married and to seniors.

    I personally dealt with a family 20 years ago. In some ways lakewood was smaller town, yet the help Yad Rachel did by sending in someone trained into the home daily for months on end to make the home operational while allowing to live in
    the home was the best therapitoc outcome
    Unfortunately already then the organization could not fundraise to keep this vital service .

    # 1 Relief for directing them to the right psychiatrist in NYC and top therapist was the key…it takes time, it takes trial and error and then it takes will power.

    The problem is that our insurance companies will yank an approved medicine 20 years later. No care for the possible setback.

    The next issue recently I was involved In helping a family who was facing medical and mental crisis. What I found out is they there is no OHEL which oversees that each person in the family gets a social worker and coordinates as a team. There are
    many bandaged together organization. Some have mentors to take the individual out of the house for lunch 1x a week if possible. Yet the volunteer mentor told me that she never imagined getting into such a case and wasn’t prepared The
    services that yad rachel offered 20 years ago of allowing a patient and family to stay in ones home by offering daily in home care isn’t anymore unless you have deep pockets.

    I was shocked that today we are not organized and funded as we should be.

    Unfortunately this case is a major tragedy. I dint know the details of this case. And psychosis is very serious. But many cases in House therapy could have been avoided had the correct therapist and therapy as well as experts Dr been involved. Many foster care situations could have been avoided had we had the funded infrastructure which we don’t. And sometimes the organizations must allow someone from outside the family to call in and get professionals to visit and see if a reality check is needed in the home. Sometimes it’s another family member not allowing proper medical intervention.

    Schools need to allow therapists and counseling in school. Classes about feelings, emotions and balancing life responsibilities is vital. Life is stressful. Anxiety needs to be dealt with earlier and many situations will not blow out of proportion.

    Many happen after a life crises , financial crises, birth and hormone changes. But we need to improve our prevention capabilities and minimize undiagnosed and untreated situations. We need to raise the bar of our current level of care. It’s not sufficent. Suggesting using therapist who are not equipped because they don’t charge much isn’t going to save anyone money in the long run
    Yes the good ones are too expensive. And only use ones who are vetted.

    Recent line I heard. Dating isn’t therapy. And marriage isn’t a hospital.

    Local Evaluations and industry inexpensive therapist are not always the best or properly trained for severe cases.

    In fact if an immediate family member doesn’t request services organizations don’t get involved. Many are understaffed. And underfunded. So many calls already to handel that many many cases fall through the cracks.

    Family support and awareness is required. As one top psychiatrist stated. Most patients do not need to be hospitalized once stable. Cognitive therapy or other therapies are vital. Family usually can possibly see signs of a set back, not ignore it, and get immediate care , many times by tweaking the meds

    An organization like Bridges is amazing as it focus on the respite of the children for a few hours a day and try to make sure the children are safe.
    They always need volunteers home and if need volunteer foster homes.
    There isn’t sufficient funds to send pateints to top critical inpatient care. Each illness has it specialty. And yes some therapists need to know what they can or cannot handle.

  38. What an amazing thing for you to do- Frank openness is the key to curbing random talk, discomfort around issues etc. may your family find strength to come through this terrible tzaar. I would like to suggest that more detail, while a very personal thing, on thr history of the illness in this case would not be yentish- it would help people who are considering shidduchim feel more comfortable by that with the history there would be signs, symptoms, years of hard work in therapy etc. unfortunately saying that it was a completely random and isolated, unpredictable instance (and maybe it was, forgive me if I’m wrong), can lead to more fear surrounding mental illness- if someone is considering a shidduch with a person with controlled mental illness, this may make them pause and wonder if something random like this could happen to that person as well. A history would be incredibly helpful in trying to make sense of such a sad and senseless tragedy. Fully understand if that’s too sensitive to share, just wanted to put it out there. Your family should have a nechama b’karov

  39. Therapists could not have helped this woman in such a state. Only medication or hospitalization could have helped her. The cost of psychiatrists is what should be funded, because the best of doctors don’t accept Insurance. A person who needs medication, and doesn’t get it in time, no amount of therapy will help.

  40. Rabbosai, let us join Shalom in opening his organization TODAY. I have been trying to help a relative for 1.5 years now and this is the printout of the MAJORITY – though not all OF THE CASES IVE OBSERVED: 1. It is impossible EVEN IN CASES OF SERIOUS URGENCY to get through to the patients therapists or organization. 2. because the ratio of patient to provider VIRTUALLY GUARANTEES that no patient is really that important, and all kinds of boundaries have to be kept – and there are many others on the waiting list. 3. The charges are astronomical. 4. In many cases, the client/patient is told by the provider that the parents/family is at fault, and then blamed for everything before, during and after. This also ensures the child will keep coming back $$$ (all parents of suffering kids know exactly what I am talking about). 4. Parents/families suffer for months, but few people will actually do something for these suffering yidden (as mentioned accurately above by the fellow suffering and asking people to DO SOMETHING!) 5. because pain distances other people and even family, instead of bringing them closer. 6. There are too many people who ask probing details and form accusing opinions even as they help – which leaves the parents/kids/siblings hurting terribly even while receiving whatever little help is offered. 7. There are those that still think that only certain “types” of families suffer, until they find that they were included in this self-inflicted category. 8. Most providers do not want Rabbinic oversight, aka accountability. This would save so many families from being torn apart by inexperienced providers, as well as require that they become more proficient. 9. IN CLOSING: This may surprise you after reading the above – but all yidden do care, and feel bad. Everything is not happening from a lack of emphathy or not caring rather from A LACK OF TIME to register the enormity and depth of what this feels like. If people would have more time to put themselves into someone else’s shoes they wouldn’t eat sleep or do anything else until this was solved. And so, RABBOSAI, IF I MAY SUGGEST A MESSAGE FOR THIS TRAGEDY, IT IS THIS: DONT JUST WALK AWAY CLUCKING YOUR TONGUE A FEW TIMES. ACCEPT ON YOURSELF TO STOP AND THINK ABOUT THE SUFFERING NEIGHBOR OR FRIEND THAT YOU HAVE, AND DO SOMETHING REAL AND CONSTANT FOR THEM. AND THERE IS NOTHING MORE REAL THAN CREATING CENTERS OF TREATMENT WHERE CONSTANT, AVAILABLE, ACCOUNTABLE, AND RESULT-CHIEVING CARE IS PROVIDED. If you are a person of means and are reading this – then in the name of these two innocent children, dedicate your finances to this goal TODAY. Don’t wait until it fades away like another piece of news. Stand up – Hashem is waiting and watching, and what greater instant ticket to Gan Eden than saving a generation from the mental Holocaust going on all around us.

    • I 10000% agree. Have a relative with severe mental illness and it’s impossible to get information on good professionals never mind the extreme costs. After calling all the organizations we get one name of a good doctor who can help and turns out he has a wait list appointment in six months at midnight. We need case management and FUNDS to get to the right professional. It can really save lives!

      • I have a friend who started an organization that does just this. They work with patients/families to find accessible mental healthcare. Accessible in this case means someone that the individual can afford as well as someone who has availability. They are not able to publicize their services or expand though due to lack of funding. They also have to rely on volunteers as case managers as they don’t have the ability to hire paid employees. If you’re serious about getting funds to get an organization like this started, I can share my email and you can reach out to get this organization off the ground so that nobody has to suffer when there absolutely is help available.

  41. Maybe there should be a hotline for people in the community to call.
    As horrible as it was/is for the family who this tragedy happen to, it probably affected the ems, cops to showed up and saw everything, people don’t think of the first responders, Evan if it not 911 ems of you do ems you see allot that can hold allot of Wait on someone. Just food for thought

  42. Very disturbing that the important lesson is being covered over with platitudes. She was obviously not doing well, she was obviously in need of close supervision and should never have been left alone with 2 babies. Some relative puts out a letter saying how perfectly great she was – that is not true, and not even helpful. The only way to prevent this is to supervise and monitor people with mental illness while they are with children. A person with psychosis or schizophrenia or severe depression – even if they are medicated- should never be left alone with babies. Besides what happened here, the person can do other things. That’s very important for people to know.

  43. This is an extreme tragedy. I’m not a mental health professional and do not know the situation of this poor family. However, I think we also have to be careful because “doing something” or “saying something” has to be done with seichel, sensitivity, and daas Torah. Great damage can be inflicted by people who are well-meaning (or not) by inserting themselves into a delicate situation incorrectly. And we aren’t supposed to embarrass people. It’s a tightrope. But we can all try open our hearts more to be have rachmanus and try to understand another’s difficulty.

  44. Firstly, I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family of this unspeakable tragedy 😢. Although I along with all outsiders can never know the details of what precipitated this woman’s psychotic episode (nor is it any of our business), even with excellent care & meds this flare can happen.

    Fortunately it’s rarely at this level of severity. But flare-ups DO happen and especially with this kind of diagnosis the quality of care & experience of the providers is critical. I’m not trying to belittle anyone, but I know from professional & personal connections that the average therapist is not equipped to properly handle such serious conditions. At the very least, since meds are necessary, the patient must be diagnosed & constantly
    reevaluated by a psychiatrist experienced with psychotropic meds. This is a super-specialty. It doesn’t come cheap. The charge can be $500+ per session. Doctors like that don’t take insurance!

    Chemed or LCSC or any other well-meaning organizations do not offer anywhere near this level of care. Their therapists on staff (usually social workers) haven’t been trained to deal with major psychiatric illnesses, even for the therapy portion. Anyone on psychiatric meds must be monitored on an ongoing basis by their MD psychiatrist (who may need to tweak dosage, etc), in addition to any “talk” therapy they may need.

    It is regrettable that Rabbonim & askanim haven’t stepped up to the plate to adequately provide help to those who desperately need it. Yes, in recent years there have been attempts to dispel the stigma of seeking mental health treatment. But that doesn’t address mental ILLNESS. This may not be so common, but it’s complications can affect whole families and communities.

    Kudos to the commenter who wants to start a new initiative in this area. I’m happy to join & appreciate if TLS can connect us.

    Wishing the affected family and friends nechama and healing.

  45. As I read through the comments, it’s clear to me that many People are conflating mental health issues like depression and anxiety with psychological disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia. Based on the horrific events and the relatives post, she has the latter and the “extended” family knew about it.

    Unfortunately, as the saying goes “marriage isn’t a hospital” and we should talk about why we push unhealthy people into marriage and if they get married, why are they having kids. It’s okay for marriage to be about companionship.

  46. There is a underutilized government sponsored program for family of those who suffer from severe mental health illness ר”ל

    It is called IFSS (Intensive Family Support Services) in Ocean County, NJ one can reach them at (732) 606-9573 ext. 7012

    If anyone has other resources to share, please do!

  47. Competent is not a one-size-fits-all term. I have a family member suffering from mental illness. We’ve tried over 8 therapists, many who said the child is more than they feel comfortable treating. Several psychiatrists over the years and easily a dozen medications, and B’H we have some signs of stability. I’m not sure chemed can meet those needs.

  48. Seems like people don’t know the difference between bipolar schizophrenia spectrum borderline personality disorder and regular typical mental illness using someone that was getting help as a agenda that people should get help is pathetic There is a reason the success in suicide attempts among bipolar schizophrenia people is much higher yes manic people enjoy the high (even if a bipolar person only spends approximately 1% of their life in a manic state)and schizophrenia doesn’t have the greatest medications even people on lithium or other mood stabilizers have attempted suicide and bipolar and schizophrenia have a higher chance of using lethal force FYI reb Aron lopiansky has a article in time pieces on the Andrea Yates killing

    • Thank you. It was a great article.
      Afterwards, I read a case analysis of Andrew Yates in which different psychiatrists explain with proof why Andrew felt compelled to do it. She thought because she wasn’t a proper parent her children wouldn’t develop well socially and would be serial killer/ other negative things and felt she had to kill them when they were pure to prevent it, even if she would get punished for it.
      Can we imagine the pain and horror of having such thoughts? All those judging and writing, “How can you say she was a gentle, good person?” know Al Tamin biatzmicha. At any time, regular people can suddenly acquire mental illnesses.
      Let’s empathize with all those enduring mental illnesses, especially this mother. Hashem should give her a Yeshua and help her and her family work through this.
      May Mashiach come speedily so the family shouldn’t need to deal with their heartbreaking and incomprehensible pain.

  49. While on the topic, there is a great book out there for Rabbonim to recognize when to refer people for therapy. It’s called A Practical Guide to Rabbinic Counseling.
    May our Av Rachman send the family a Nechama.

  50. Maybe there isn’t a comprehensive organization like Chai Lifeline, Bonei Olam ect to help people and their families with mental illness, because if there was, they would be bombarded with requests from so many people because there is such an overwhelming need for such help in our community.. Almost every family can use at least financial help to pay for therapy for at least one or more family members that are in need of it.. This is aside for the major cases.. It would take a huge undertaking to make an organization like chai lifeline or Bonei Olam for mental illness but it is literally Pikuach Nefashos!!There is a wonderful organization called Kanfei Faiga that helps families when someone in the family or themselves are struggling with mental illness. As far as I know, they are not able to help with financial assistance for psychiatrists and therapy. There is Keren Ezer Lnefesh that help with therapy for teenagers. As far as I am aware of there are no such organisations for financial assistance for adults and there is a huge need for this!! May we be zoche to have one day an address to go to when in need, for true, full and comprehensive mental health support and May it be Bkarov!!!

    • Even with therapy, psychiatric care and psychotropic medications such a Haldol, this can happen if the person is left alone with the children. The most important preventive measure is to never ever leave a person who has schizophrenia or psychosis diagnosis, alone with children in a house, even if they are being treated. There must always be a relative, friend or hired caretaker there. Incidences such as this, only happen when they are alone.

  51. The traditional forms of therapy we’ve used might not always be effective because many people dealing with mental health issues are grappling with trauma, either their own or inherited from their parents or grandparents. Hitler’s impact wasn’t just physical but emotional, affecting generations. Our parents were focused on rebuilding after the Holocaust and didn’t have time to process their trauma. Now, our generation faces anxiety, depression, and inherited trauma. It’s time to explore new techniques, especially those that have shown significant results for trauma. Therapies that criticize our parents or use CBT when trauma is present aren’t enough. We need therapies that connect us to our inner child and address the suffering within us. There are many aspects to consider, and I’m ready to support anyone interested in opening a center to help. Please reach out if you’d like to collaborate. I believe this is a mission from Hashem, and we need to establish centers with top doctors, leading psychiatrists, and highly trained therapists to help everyone in need.

  52. I am in college to get my masters degree to become a marriage and family therapist. We are learning a lot about psychopharmacology and the DSM-5TR. Anyone in my program will be equipped to deal with serious mental illnesses.

  53. How meny of you are going to cry by חצות הלילה
    How meny of you are going to stop this שינת חינם
    How meny of you are going to learn torah leshaimshmaim for am yisreal not your stupid kovoed or unworthy שכר
    How meny shuls are going to start making mishaberachs for are soldiers
    For are kidnap
    90 percent of am yisreal is not eruv rav maybe one percent
    How meny of you are going to be דן לכף זכות for am yisreal
    I could go on but there no confusion in shamayim only here
    Sit down and do tikkun chatoz and you do tesuvah not only evrey one else
    Whats happening and whats going to happen is in your hands
    No the torah protects when its לשם כל עמו ישראל
    Please dont take this personal but i hope a big ruv tells the truth and helps the community wake up

  54. Attention everybody in the world: Are any of you therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, life coaches, trained Rabbinical advisors, Shalom Bayis counselors, or Teen guidance experts? Are you willing to form and join Community Centers where you will be paid by insurance for the MOST part, but sit all day like a regular Doctor seeing even those who have none? Are you able to cut to the chase and process the cases at an efficient and effective pace? Are you willing to be available at least via text or email even during off hours when told it’s extremely urgent? If yes, then PLEASE GROUP MESSAGE EACH OTHER AND SAVE KLAL YISROEL!!!!!!!!!! You have the tools in your hands. The blood of these two children is crying out begging for a REAL response (not fake askanus or a platform to garner more clientele). Please do something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Before more crazy stories happen Hashem yeracheim!!!

  55. Though I don’t know details of the case I’m wondering if the medicine itself can cause these episodes and if the person on these medications can be left alone until stabilized on dosage and medication. In addition regular physicians have taken over prescribing psychiatric drugs and may not have the knowledge that psychiatrists do.
    Also although not related to this case doctors in this area should be aware of the neurological symptoms of Lyme disease. It can mimic mental illness especially if the symptoms come on all of a sudden. Most people don’t remember being bitten.

  56. We don’t know what may have gone through her mind. She may have thought that she heard voices or thinking it was a prophecy telling her to bring her children for a korban. No one will ever know. If you anything about mental illness, then you know that she had absolutely no bechirah/ free choice at all. We are not blaming anyone. It just is very sad. People have to be more educated what this sickness is. Yes, people do need encouragement to go for help. Now is the time to hug your children and tell them that they’re safe. Mommy’s love their children, and we’ll always be there for you!

  57. When a family member does something, either purposefully or through mental illness, it causes negative consequences of embarrassment for the remaining family members. May the family support each other and find love, support, and compassion from others. Please don’t hide yourself in embarrassment – two children, r”l, died, but you must live . May your community give you the support you need.

  58. Lakewood Scoop: Why are you deleting my comment??
    The most important preventive measure here for people to learn from is that a person with a Psychosis or Schizophrenia diagnosis should never be alone with children. There should always be a family member or friend or a hired caretaker in the house with them. This is the most Important preventive measure to protect the children and to also protect the person with the mental illness. These extreme incidences, and less severe incidences, only happen when they are alone. Even if the person is being treated by a psychiatrist it is important to never leave them alone with children.

  59. I am an Ex LKWDER living in Eretz Yisrael.

    Here in EY we have an amazing organization called Avnei Chein that does mental health crisis management. When someone reaches out, they get a case manager (an LCSW) who walks them thru getting access to all the resources available.

    When a family member in Lakewood was struggling with severe mental health issues, I tried to find such a organization.
    It does not exist. There are askanim, rabbanim and referal agencies who help with various aspects of the crisis.

    But there was no one to hold the hand of the spouse in this case, and step by step guide them.
    Because I work in the field here in EY I did the best I could, but it was nothing like what Avnei Chein provides here, and it is a huge strain and weight on the spouse of the suffering person who needs to carry the entire burden alone.

    There already is a successful model – I hope someone in Lakewood picks up the baton and implements it.

    • People in my family have been and continue to be guided by Amudim through mental health and family crises. They do full case management and hold your hand all the way through.

      • Thank you for your endorsement of Avnei Chen. I too am a former resident of the so-called “Ir HaKodesh”. I came home (made aliya) several years ago and visit the Kotel as often as possible when I am in the true Ir HaKodesh. I am a volunteer with Avnei Chen, helping when I am able, by preparing a meal for one of many families suffering with a mental illness challenge. Meals are prepared and provided several times a week, including for Shabbat, by dozens of volunteers like me, and the letters of gratitude that Avnei Chen regularly receives more than justify the time and energy expended.

        Together with all the other services that Avnei Chen performs, it’s clearly a model that needs to be copied throughout innumerable communities.

  60. As someone who has trained under Dr James Greenblatt, I urge people to go to his website for free webinars to understand that so much mental health has a biochemical reason.
    In short, the body is not a car where the engine is not affected by the wheel. The brain is connected to the whole body and when the body is off, the brain will be as well (outside of trauma etc).
    For example, LOW cholesterol can lead to suicide! Look it up!!
    This is not to mention different environmental exposures such as mold and lyme which I have seen first hand affect a person psychologically.
    So much to discuss about all this…..

    • Not to begin a discussion here that would distract from the main story, but just to slightly enhance your point: there is so much toxicity in our environment at this time, and it enters our bodies through food, breathing, and emotional stress. Many studies have demonstrated the link between gut health (a healthy microbiome) and both physical and mental health — and vice versa: between gut dis-ease and mental/physical dis-ease. An excellent book that can explain this is called “The GAPS Diet”. GAPS = Gut And Psychology Syndrome.

  61. To start, I want to acknowledge the deep pain that many are experiencing from what happened, and H-ashem should send everyone healing, hope, and strength.

    I am the founder and president of the non-profit organization Jewish American Nurse Practitioner Psychiatric Association -JANPPA. JANPPA has two missions: to provide education and networking to Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners and to provide culturally sensitive mental health education to the Jewish Orthodox communities.

    JANPPA would love to come to your community, in-person or virtually, and discuss important mental health topics.

    JANPPA is here for the community and we would love to help with other programs as well.

    Please visit janppa.org

    https://www.janppa.org/community to fill out a form for JANPPA to come to your community.

    Please reach out with questions, concerns, or ideas at [email protected].

    Looking forward to stepping up for the community!

  62. It’s very important for those who wish to be supportive of individuals in crisis or trauma to practice true empathy. This entails understanding of how the subject individual is experiencing their crisis or trauma. Often, well meaning people offer support based on their perception of how one should react to the specific crisis or trauma. So doing, can exasperate the situation causing more damage than good. To offer support put your perception aside and truly allow for the subject individual to express themselves.

  63. I think we are being tested on how we react and comment on this tragedy. The only way to approach it is with tears and tefilos for the family and the community. We are suppose to emulate the way of HKBH. Ma hu rachum….
    Let us daven and implore HKBH that this should never happen in our midst and let’s try not to be judgemental and more accepting wherever we are.
    When tragedy strikes let’s not take out the old soap box and start ranting.

  64. Psychosis may have a stigma because it’s misunderstood and mishandled. Medicine split psychiatry and medical health and that was the first mistake. When there is a glitch in brain health causing blindness it’s addressed with scans and corrected and worked with. Not necessarily fixed but managed as best as possible with continued efforts to find the root cause and heal restore it to functioning. When there is a glitch in brain health resulting in new behaviors or changes in mood stability (not emotional) we have tossed it out as psychiatry and avoided looking for a root cause… We all know about post partum changes in brain health that happen with childbirth and the hormonal changes that go with it. We all know about psychosis associated with urinary tract infection in the elderly..and B12 deficiency causing dementia like symptoms…it’s time we wake up and search for root cause in brain health. We are grossly behind in treating sudden onset of neuropsychiatric changes. Removing the stigma makes it even harder to encourage people to dig deeper. Bacteria or virus, nutritional deficiency, exposure to mold and toxins and environmental sensitivities can all cause sudden onset of nueropsych behaviors that have nothing to do with mood, jealousy, high living standards and perfectioni. We need to realize it’s a regular medical issue that needs to be addressed.

    • 100% agree! See my post above regarding Dr Greenblatt’s work. This is the crux of functional medicine and nutrition! How crazy is it that it’s a chiddush to so many…..
      I once had a close vivacious friend who after age 50 started feeling really down….I told him after age 50 stomach acid typically goes down even quicker than regular aging which leads to an inability to break down proteins properly to make serotonin or extract the B12 from foods thus sometimes causing depression etc. He went to check his blood work and sure enough his B12 was low! Simple enough! Get your level up with B12 lozenges.
      Long story short….he didn’t listen to me and went to a psychiatrist who put him on Prozac!
      This story sums up the difference in care in a nutshell! Functional Medicine is the wave of the future which is already here!

      • Functional medicine is unfortunately unproven & basicly unregulated at this time. B12 will almost never be a substitute for Prozac except in the most extreme cases of insufficiency. Depression has almost nothing to do with lower stomach acid.

        • Unproven by whom?
          B12 is only one cause, there can be many more causes. Same for depression and stomach acid…..
          I’m sorry you have not had a good experience with functional medicine. My clients have seen success after years of running around the conventional route….

  65. The problems I see are – First of all – Mental Illness is very misunderstood. People don’t understand the Differences between MSW’s, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists. A lot of patients need a combination of most of the latter. Second – in Frum community it’s still stigmatized more than the rest of the world.
    We all should learn from this tragedy – and Not continue as we are perfect and there is nothing to change (like we have seen from what’s been posted here on LS – including articles here)!

  66. No words…May your family know no more tzaar.

    I read everyone’s comments…it’s not about organizations or pouring money into a “solution” . It is about just simply caring about another jew and not judging everyone… …being open and available and UNSELFISH and not worried ab someones opinion of you but only about Hshem’s opinion of you…Who are you to judge? This can happen to anyone!

    • That’s wrong- we are supposed to be judgmental of right and wrong and we are absolutely supposed to wary snd watchful of danger and dangerous people and situations. We have the Ten commandments and Torah laws for a reason.
      When a person has a mental illness like schizophrenia, or other psychotic Disorder, then we must be cautious and we absolutely must step in to ensure that person is never ever alone with children. Remember poor Leibe? Remember Andrea Yates? Remember the nanny in Manhattan? Of course we are to judge and use the information we have to protect children.

  67. Could everyone please stop cushioning the evil horrible horrendous thing that this woman did! There are no excuses for committing such an evil disgusting act. And pushing this poor sweet lady agenda will create copycats with people on the spectrum. I see too many people empathizing with her. Enough!

    • TLS, why publish such ignorant and hateful comments? The comments section is moderated for a reason.

      But since this was published, I will clarify, psychosis and “people on the spectrum” (autism) are entirely unrelated. And “people on the spectrum” are not copycats. And no one is going to “copy” this poor woman’s actions, which she did only because she was experiencing delusions.

      TLS, I beg you to please be more careful regarding the comments published on your site.

    • If she would have had a heart attack while driving and gotten into a car accident which would’ve resulted in her children passing away R’L, would you make the same comment? (And yes, people with history of cardiovascular disease do drive.) I don’t know why TLS is publishing comments like yours.

  68. Everyone commenting has diagnosed this women with psychosis. Is this a fact was she seen by a medical professional. While it’s suggested she see her rabbi is he a medical physician? If indeed she had mental issues she has certainly fallen through the cracks and her children paid the ultimate price. Tragically sad for those involved. May the children rest in peace.

    • Because she was diagnosed with it.
      Do you understand what you are saying?? You think it’s better to say she was perfectly well and committed murder of babies?

  69. I certainly don’t understand all the hateful comments I don’t personally know this woman however, she didn’t go out to murder her children. clearly, she is not well putting it mildly. Family member that posted letter said that in the past year or so she was doing better but that she had battled with mental illness. No one is to blame but clearly she was a lot sicker and a lot worse off than they realized. This is not like saying I caught a guy off on the road and then I had an accident and I feel bad about it. Clearly, she was in a very dark place and didn’t even understand what she was doing. because the fact of it is afterwards , she managed to call 911 services.rather Hatzalah. Unfortunately it was too late. And this is what happened. This Should be a forum for people who want to wish condolences in addition to help other people who actually suffer from mental disease and mental deficits. Not all these horrible nasty comments that are going back-and-forth. like, suggesting a ZIP Code, or other commentary, that this is why this happened it can happen in any state and country.

  70. It’s time for Chai Lifeline to start a branch for families affected by mental health disease. The children need the extra help when the parent is unwell. Families need suppers when mothers cannot cook or clean. Families suffer in silence while they are pressured to show up at work and perform well in schools. Hamaspik should open up a branch in Lakewood to give services to qualifying families.

    • You are so right! This is not only true when a parent is mentally ill, but also when there is a child or close relative with severe mental illness. I have seen so many siblings suffer from parents being preoccupied with someone struggling with aggression, eating disorders, addictions, self harm etc. that they unintentionally neglect the rest of the family and often their own basic needs.

  71. Lakewood really needs an organization like Avnie Chain and that organization should also take profesional care of the mentally ill. Waiting for this organization to start now that we see how much it’s needed!

  72. Part of the problem is that one who has mental illness is often judged by society and shunned by society , which then exasperates the feeling of loneliness which then cause more mental illness and on and on………

  73. We are too small to understand Hashem’s ways. I recently suffered a very deep personal tragedy and the pain is just so raw, so searing, so overpowering. my heart bleeds so terribly for the Mishpacha, Hashem WILL give you strength to move on, although it will take time.
    as far as the children – they’re in the oilam haemes looking down and smiling, seeing the True Purpose of all these events – our job in this world of hester is just too be mischazek in the knowledge that there is a Grand Scheme for everything, way beyond our minute comprehension, and all Hashem does is for the good.

    • If people would have more bitochon, most mental illness would disappear. Why would anyone be anxious if they believed that our loving Tatte is fully in control & watching over us?
      How could anyone be depressed if they appreciated all the good we have.
      Besides, if you have the right level of bitochon you can get everything you wish for like Rav Yisroel Salanter & the gold watch.
      Instead of talking about mental health, we should encourage more bitochon & cure the source of mental illness.
      The reason why there’s so much mental illness today is because people feel lost without bitochon.
      Tune out all the bad news in the world & just appreciate all the good you have! Then it will be impossible to feel anxious or depressed.
      The balei mussar were all happy people because they lived with bitochon & positivity. We have more luxury today than anytime in history yet we are sadder & more anxious & depressed than any other time. Everyone should learn shar habitochon & the therapists & psychiatrist will go out of business. People’s lives have turned around once they started working on their bitochon.

      • What does this have to do with this tragedy? Do you think that if this woman had learned shaar habitachon, she wouldn’t have had psychosis and delusions? Your comment is irrelevant to this tragedy and inappropriate.

        What you are referring to is not psychosis but depression and anxiety. In my experience, learning emuna and bitachon is valuable as a Jew and as a person, but it doesn’t help clinical depression and clinical anxiety. Just because one person said they were feeling nervous or sad and after working on bitachon they feel better, doesn’t mean that other people will have the same experience. The real depression and anxiety that I see are severe, debilitating and there’s no way to wish or will your way out of it. Those who say “choose to be happy” and “try harder” haven’t experienced it and cause severe pain and damage to sufferers. Please learn shaar habitachon and also go to therapists and psychiatrists. May we have no more tzaros.

      • Just choose: You’re one of many in this town that thinks that there’s No such thing as Mental Illness!
        Your ignorance is Appalling!
        And you’re probably part of the many here that when your Kid has an Earache – you’re Running to the doctor instead of waiting a
        little bit. Because most Earaches are Viral and Don’t need Antibiotics!

  74. I am a frum psych prescriber with over ten years of experience. I think the comments here are representative of the many facets and difficulties associated with getting appropriate mental health treatment. In most cases, people with psychosis do not have the insight to obtain care for themselves. Our legal system is set up in a way that makes it extremely difficult to legally require someone to be on medication, unless there is a documented history of risk. Furthermore, the only reliable medications in these cases are usually long acting injectables. The ones with less side effects are thousands of dollars and it is not always easy to find someone to administer them.
    As far as mental health availability goes, the frum community has shown up to meet the demand. More frum people are being trained as mental health providers than ever before. Training and competency do vary widely. In my experience, it is not the lack of available frum mental health professionals, it is the lack of boundaries, sense of entitlement and absence of support for the professionals themselves that leads to burnout. We have emotional needs, families and expenses too. This is what leads clinicians to leave affordable care and venture out on their own.
    As far as this situation goes, when there is an inkling of psychosis or bizarre behavior, send your loved one to the ER if they won’t see someone or are not improving with the care they have, and allow a trained professional to further assess and make recommendations.

  75. My sincerest thoughts and prayers for the family. May you receive nechama by the master comforter Himself. Only He knows the true pain, trials, needs, strengths and inner workings of each member of the family. May all those suffering from devastating brain illness also find healing and recover.

    As a parent and psychologist, I would like to share some hope here with those suffering from brain illness. From our experience, the key to true recovery and healing is looking for the underlying root in the body. After all, psychiatric illness means the brain and body are ill. While therapy and medication can be important to manage symptoms, we must find and heal the root, whether it’s infection, autoimmune or nutrition related to achieve complete recovery.

    *Please know, although it’s not yet a popular thought, full healing can happen and should be the ultimate goal.* As a community we must recognize that we are all affected by others’ pain. May Hashem guide us to the knowledge we need to authentically support others in the ways they need. May all illness, regardless of its location in the body, be healed.

  76. I know I’m one of many comments and I have a lot to say being in this parsha. To keep it short many many therapist in this town are licensed and unqualified, I heard this from a respected psychologist and I’ve also seen this from personal experience. When looking for help also look for a therapist who’s been on their own journey you will get deeper and heal quicker. Healing is less in the mind, more in emotions and body. Also shame holds us back tremendously if you can join a support group you will be able to join others and break that shame and stigma and find people with no judgement, authenticity and and a beautiful community. Coach Menachem has been working on support groups reach out to him if your interested
    May HaShem bring the geulah very soon

  77. If a person has mental illness they have to take their medication so as not to relapse. This person although not her fault that she has this serious mental illness is at fault for not being responsible. If a person doesn’t take their medication they should not be around children. So yes we should be advocating for mental illness. We should also be advocating for those with diagnosed mental illness to listen to their Doctor and therapist. Instead of bashing the cost of therapy we should focus on patients not listening to them. They went through years of schooling and know what they are talking about.
    I am really sorry for the innocent relatives of this woman.

  78. #Raizy, Please don’t listen to any reliable sources. If you didn’t hear it from the parents them self, then don’t believe it.

  79. If anyone needs a Mother’s helper, so you can take a breath or fresh air and a real breather, I’d love to help you out. It takes a village these days no matter what your religion is. At the end of the day we all bleed the same. My heart breaks for the children, the mother who needed more intense therapy with limited resources. Confined in a friend, a doctor, so many resources do not feel ashamed and no one should ever shame some one for wanting or needing help and care.

    Medications are not always the cure or answer some times it’s a mask that can fall off at anytime

    Mental health the last four years nationally is at an all time high.

  80. My prayers are with your family and friends. Mental health issues need to be addressed immediately. When I was a infant my mother poisoned me with a common household chemical. I was found unresponsive and rushed to the hospital. I was read my last rights and was not expected to survive. When I was in the hospital my mother committed s_&-+de. Till this day nobody knows why she chose to do what she did. As I got older I had issues connecting with others. Even family. I wanted to get help but didn’t know how to explain my illness. I was at the end of my rope. Until I received a blessing from above. A female friend of mine forced me to get serious help. She stayed by my side for over 2 years, and I began to feel better inside. It was her kindness and affection that solved my issues. This was what I was missing my entire life. My point is that if you know someone who needs help with mental health issues find out what they are missing in life. Make them smile and appreciate life. It only takes 1 person to make a difference and I will be forever grateful for her companionship. Unfortunately she passed away several years ago but I know she is watching over me and is a guardian angel. Mental illness can be healed with prescribed medication and therapy but the most important thing I can say is if you know someone who needs help do not leave them alone. Show them how important they are and remind them that they are loved by many.

  81. Everyone stop taking about organizations therapists and money. It’s not about that. Meds are not expensive. Clearly she was off of them… a compliant patient is a healthy one. No matter what the mental illness had ahw been on her meds this wouldn’t have happened. Organizations and fundraising wouldn’t change a thing

Comments are closed.