Don’t be quick to judge mental illness, says Nicholas Layman’s family — (CBC News)

SSRI Ed note: Teen, 19, diagnosed with depression does not take his medication "properly", has psychotic episode, stabs 11-yr old. Mental illness is blamed.

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CBC News

Posted: Oct 31, 2014 11:00 AM NT 

Charged in stabbing of young boy, Nicholas Layman sent for further psychiatric assessment

The parents of a young man charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of a boy at a soccer field in Topsail last month say their son doesn’t fully comprehend what happened, and doesn’t grasp the current court proceedings.

Nicholas Layman, 19, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon after stabbing an 11-year-old boy during a soccer skills camp involving dozens of children.

At a court appearance in St. John’s on Friday, Layman was ordered to undergo further psychiatric assessment at the Waterford Hospital.

Nicholas Layman appeared in provincial court in St. John’s Friday, but was sent back to hospital for further psychiatric examination. (Krissy Holmes/CBC)

“Nicholas still doesn’t understand the grasp of detail and actually the grasp of what has happened,” said Doreen Layman, his stepmother.

Layman said her stepson had a normal upbringing, and it was only very recently they discovered their son had a mental illness — it only manifested about a year ago.

It started with depression first. He wouldn’t talk to us, he wouldn’t tell us what was wrong,” she said.

“We were so shocked when we found out what the diagnosis was and it was so new, and he wasn’t properly on his medication and it’s very, very difficult for anybody to understand what we’ve gone through.”

Quick to judge

According to Layman, her stepson had been seeing a doctor regularly, but there was no indication things would escalate to this point.

“We called the doctor’s office several times, he was under doctor’s care. We told them that he wasn’t taking his medication properly and nothing happened — nothing was done,” said Layman.

“And then something so horrible like this had to happen, and it should never have happened. I know there’s a thin line between people’s rights and when somebody is sick, and I think what we mainly have to realize is something like this can onset on somebody between 15 and 25 years of age.”

Layman said there needs to be more education and a focus on children and youth who could develop mental illness later in life, and people shouldn’t be too quick to judge the situation.

“I was a person that was quick to judge as well, I totally understand that. But there’s always more than one side of the story — always more. And there’s always families out there and everybody hurts.”

Nicholas Layman is scheduled to appear in provincial court on Nov. 20.