Home Mental Health Mental health services require Code Red attention in Palm Beach County

Mental health services require Code Red attention in Palm Beach County

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Romen Phelps’ death-by-mental-health-crisis at the Alexander W, Dreyfoos School of the Arts brought terror to students fleeing the campus and hiding behind locked doors.

In a nation rattled by endless shootings, this May 13 event in downtown West Palm Beach — and a day later, the racism-fueled murder of 10 in a Buffalo supermarket  — left Americans to wonder, once more, “What’s wrong with us?”

What almost certainly played a role in West Palm Beach was the deteriorating mental state of the 33 year-old Phelps, The Palm Beach Post learned from his friends and former schoolmates.

A Palm Beach Gardens resident who once attended Dreyfoos, Phelps loved the school and was recognized for his contributions to student dramatic productions. But somewhere along the line, his mental stability faltered, friends said. In recent days he continued that downward spiral, was hospitalized but released. That Friday he smashed his van through the school gates, fought with an off-duty police officer who raced to the scene and, while students fled amid shouts of “Code Red!,” the officer ended Phelps’ life with a bullet.

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