On 22 April 2011, City of Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen was shot and killed by an individual who has confessed. The media identified the shooter as an individual with a long mental health history. “Officer Chris” as he liked to be called was a leader in including people diagnosed with mental health disabilities in crisis intervention training with the police. The local community of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors has issued a public statement.
Officer Chris, as he asked to be called.
Regarding Officer Chris Kilcullen and Mental Health Care
Lane County Mental Health
Consumer/Survivor Advisory Council
26 April 2011
Onbehalf of our council, which represents mental health clients in LaneCounty, we extend our heartfelt concern and support to the family andfriends of Officer Chris Kilcullen.
Accordingto media reports, the individual who has confessed to shootingOfficer Kilcullen has a long mental health history.
Ofcourse, while we do not have all the facts about this incident, weare united in condemning this horrible act.
Wealso would like to remind the community of the leadership by OfficerKilcullen in the field of mental health and policing. We need tocontinue Officer Kilcullen’s legacy.
Several of our council membershave had personal interactions with Officer Kilcullen. They said at today’s meeting about Officer Chris:
- “Remarkablyhonest and nice person…”
- “He had an easy going manner, sense ofhumor and fun, and respect.”
- “Genuinely caring about allpeople from all walks of life, children, youth, psychiatricdiagnoses.”
- “Interested in and supportive of people withmental health issues.”
Wecaution our community against a backlash that discriminates againstthose of us who are diagnosed with a psychiatric disability. The vastmajority of us are peaceful citizens with no tendency towardviolence. We encourage our community to reach out and include theperspectives of individuals and groups representing mental healthconsumers and psychiatric survivors.
Toooften, there is silence about mental health issues and recovery untila violent incident.
Let’sstart and maintain a dialogue about mental health issues, such as thelocal successful Opal Network which has met quarterly for four years.
Wealso need to remind the community, that according to the US federalmental health agency SAMHSA:
Aconsensus statement signed by more than three dozen lawyers,advocates, consumers/survivors, and mental health professionals readsin part:
“Theresults of several recent large-scale research projects conclude thatonly a weak association between mental disorders and violence existsin the community. Serious violence by people with major mentaldisorders appears concentrated in a small fraction of the totalnumber, and especially in those who use alcohol and other drugs.”(Monhan, J. and Arnold, J., 1996)
Formore information about this statement contact OregonConsumer/Survivor Coalition ator phone541-345-9106.
MindFreedom International is based in Eugene, Oregon, and representatives of MFI are active in the Lane County Consumer/Survivor Council and Opal Network.
Guide to Lane County mental health consumer/survivor empowerment opportunities click here.