For the past six years Bob as well as Arlene Holmes have been looking for answers.
Their Son, James Holmes, murdered and injured a lot of victims at the Aurora theatre in the year 2012? What was the reason they hadn’t realized the onset of mental illness in him? Now , they’re reaching out to counselors, college students and Congress and sharing the lessons they’ve learned.
“I think that’s kind of where we are at the moment,” Bob Holmes told Rocky Mountain PBS. “We’re being the parent of an infamous massive murderer.”
The Holmeses have been working quietly to educate mental health professionals on the information that care providers are permitted to communicate with family members concerning the treatment of an adult child. They’re also trying to help parents understand what they didn’tsee: clear indications that their son was losing touch with reality.
“You begin to notice that the patient is pulling back from the group, and is spending more time alone and not speaking much,” Arlene Holmes said. “We discovered that this gradual decrease in conversation and speech were the hallmarks of this illness and mental disease.”
But neither were too worried about it at the time.
“We’re very shy,” Bob Holmes said. “So when he demonstrated this particular behaviour, I mean I wasn’t especially concerned.”
About a month prior to shooting at the Aurora theatre shootings, the family didn’t worry when an University of Colorado psychiatrist called to inform them that she had been diagnosing James Holmes for social anxiety. They knew that James Holmes was not at ease with the majority of people.
The phone call was comforting, Arlene Holmes explained. “He’s going to see someone for anxiety in social situations and is going to continue visiting her. This is a great thing.”
However, the psychiatrist didn’t inform the parents the family that their child was experiencing thoughts of killing himself and was talking about the possibility of killing many people.
The psychiatrist “didn’t explain to us what we required to be aware of,” Arlene Holmes said. “Who can guarantee one hundred percent that we could have stopped the situation. However, we certainly would have attempted.”
James Holmes was an adult who was protected by his privacy under HIPAA which is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 A federal law that protects medical information.
The federal law was revised in 2016 to allow for what is known as “compassionate communication” to allow families to be informed of any information that could aid in caring for their loved ones. Arlene Holmes has shared this information as one of her priorities.
“I believe providers should be educated on when they’re not in violation of HIPAA and violating civil rights and rights when they’re sharing information for the benefit of the patient, so they aren’t in the midst of being sued,” she said.
“They won’t divulge this details to the public. However, it’s vital information in the event that you want to kill people, shoot them or shoot people.”
The Holmeses also advocate to earlier recognition of mental health issues by counselors, teachers and administrators.
“They might be able to see things parents aren’t aware of due to the fact that the child is with lots of other kids,” Arlene Holmes said.
However, both parents agree that awareness of mental illness needs to start in the home.
The Holmeses take responsibility for what transpired in Aurora the night before. They believe that they ought to have been aware of mental disease.
“We’re his parents,” …” Arlene Holmes told me. “It’s our responsibility for not having been educated. If you’re planning to have an infant, you must to be aware of the importance of mental health. You should begin exploring things and making sure your child isn’t suffering from issues with their mental wellbeing. issues…That’s your message.”
Marcus Weaver, who was severely wounded in the attack of James Holmes and whose friend Rebecca Wingo was murdered, claims James Holmes’ actions were his own and not the fault of his parents.
“Their son is in prison for the remainder of his life, and you’re aware that we need to live our lives,”” Weaver said. “And I for one, is sorry for them to be placed in the spotlight due to the actions of your son.”
Weaver declares that he’s accepted the apology of the gunman, although he doesn’t know whether other victims feel this way.
“You don’t have all the information about your children.” He added. “They weren’t in the same place and they had to do checks and did all they could from afar.”
Bob as well as Arlene Holmes know that the victims struggle every day with the impact of the things their son committed.
“They’ve lost an arm. They’ve lost an important person in their lives. They’re paraplegics,” Arlene Holmes said.
“We created the list, and we regularly prayer for our loved ones,” Bob Holmes said. “We review it to think about their names and to remember what has happened for them.”
“The the first thing that I do every morning is to light candles,” she said Arlene Holmes “and present any worthwhile work that I can in honor of the deceased.”
She also said that they and their husbands keep the memories of the victims of their son all the time. “Every every day,”” Arlene Holmes said. “Every day.”