Safety First: North Suffolk Mental Health Must Intensify Its Screening Efforts

For many, many years, the North Suffolk Mental Health Association (NSMHA) has done a whole lot of good for an enormous number of people and their families by giving aid and help to those experiencing mental difficulties.

Last year, a young staffer at the Revere NSMHA facility, was stabbed to death by a violent patient with a long rap sheet.

Stephanie Moulton, 25, was the lone staffer on duty at the Revere group home behind the beach when Deshawn Chappell allegedly repeatedly stabbed her to death, lit the house on fire and then dumped her body in a Lynn parking lot.

The incident shocked local officials and mortified NSMHA officials as well. Two weeks ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the group home $7,000 for serious violations. OSHA recommended that NSMHA make numerous changes to protect their staff members. Mainly, the report calls for background checks for group home residents like Chappell as well as the installation of panic buttons, walkie-talkies, security cameras and other means of giving added security to employees.

We are glad to hear that NSMHA is committed to taking steps that will result in improved safety for its staff.

We trust and hope that NSMHA will make efforts to eliminate violent persons from among the population of those living in its group homes.

Without this being accomplished, Stephanie Moulton will have died in vain. The Moulton Family believes their daughter died for nothing. This is not true.

If there is nobility in death then she achieved it by giving of herself to the extent she did. That she was murdered by a patient out of control who she was caring for is a tragedy.

Every effort should be made to avert another one.

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