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Attorneys Warned About Discussing Stillwater Suspect's Mental Health

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Photo of Adacia Chambers from the 2008 Oologah High School yearbook. Photo of Adacia Chambers from the 2008 Oologah High School yearbook.
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Mental health leaders in the state are asking attorneys from both sides to stop releasing information about Adacia Chamber's mental health until it's confirmed.  

Adacia Chamber's yearbook pictures from Oologah High show a much different person than her mug shot.

Chambers is awaiting a psychological evaluation and until it's complete, Greg Shin with the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma says people shouldn't jump to conclusions about her mental health.

There's a lot of rumors going around and we don't have an actual basis for any of these comments," Shinn said. "We have no evidence, we have no preliminary test results, we don't have a mental health assessment yet. It's all too preliminary."

Chambers Attorney, Tony Coleman, has been vocal about Chamber's mental health. 

"I mentioned to her, yet again, that there were people that actually died in this incident and her face was unmoved, unchanged, no sign of emotion," Coleman said earlier this week.

Coleman says Chambers spent time in a mental health facility in Wagoner two years ago, but isn't sure if she was diagnosed with a mental health condition. 

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Shinn said, "The important point here is the attorney making comments who is not a qualified mental health professional trying to elude to mental illness that he's not really qualified to really speak to." 

A probable cause affidavit states she admitted being suicidal at the time.

"Trauma can mask a lot of different emotions in people, post traumatic stress syndrome. You hear about veteran s returning that have been exposed to high levels of violence so there are a lot of ways it can affect people," Shinn said.

While no one knows what was going on in Chamber's head, Shin says speculation only hurts those suffering from a mental health condition. 

Shinn said, "It adds stigma to those other people, millions of Americans, tens of thousands of Oklahomans that have a mental health issue and they have nothing to do with violence. It's no where in their history or in their past."

No word yet on when the psychological evaluation will be complete. Toxicology results are also pending, however Chamber's attorney says he's confident that wasn't the problem.

Here is the letter Michael Brose, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association Oklahoma, wrote to both attorneys:

Dear Mr. Coleman and District Attorney Thomas,

As a statewide mental health advocacy organization, we want to express our concerns regarding what appears to be a rush to make public statements regarding the possible contributing factors which may or may not have been involved in the horrific tragedy in Stillwater this past Saturday.

It is important in this early stage of your investigations for all public statements to refrain from language which may ultimately be false, inaccurate, stigmatizing or erroneous, which could be not only misleading, but could do harm to innocent people, or worse, to the victims of this terrible situation.  Any rush to judgment regarding causes, whether they be attributed to physical health, mental health, and/or substance abuse in the absence of actual facts obtained from toxicology reports and/or from qualified professionals is inappropriate, and could have negative impact to people living and working in recovery from diabetes, mental illness, substance abuse and/or other forms of health issues or disability.

If I can be of further assistance to you as you perform your very difficult and important work in the midst of a heartbreaking event and aftermath, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully,

Michael W. Brose, MSW
Executive Director
Mental Health Association Oklahoma

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