Jonathan Grinstein-Camacho

Photo of Jonathan Grinstein-Camacho. He is a young man with bright red curly hair and beard, wearing a blue T-shirt. He is in profile, looking to the right at a blue-painted wall.Name: Jonathan "Jonno" Grinstein-Camacho
Died: February 13, 2014
Age at death: 28
Cause of death: Accident
Location: Belfast, Maine, USA

Details:
Jonathan was shy and intelligent. He was an anime fan, liked shopping at grocery stores, and had taught himself Morse code.

In addition to his autism, Jonathan had schizoaffective disorder, for which he was getting treatment–a psychiatrist every other week, an autism specialist every week. He got medication that helped keep the schizoaffective disorder under control. But when he moved from Massachusetts to Maine, the mental health services he had used became unavailable.

As Jonathan's schizoaffective disorder worsened, he and his parents tried to access mental health services. He was made to wait for months. His insurance wouldn't cover it; there weren't enough psychiatrists; agencies in the two states couldn't communicate.

Jonathan's condition got worse; he retreated to his room. His parents kept a close watch on him, hoping to keep him safe. Finally they managed to get a visit with a case manager, after a six-month wait. But the case manager said that they couldn't even try to get an appointment with a psychiatrist for another month.

The next day, Jonathan slipped out the door, took the car, and disappeared. The next day, his body was found face-down in a stream. It was concluded that he had accidentally drowned.

His mother remembers, "My first thought was that this system murdered him. I toned it down to negligent homicide… I remember being told there are a few cracks and that sometimes people fall through. For my family, that was no crack. That was the Grand Canyon."

References:
A grieving family blames broken MaineCare system for their son’s death
A grieving family blames broken MaineCare system for their son's death
In wake of autistic son’s death, family strives to build community for those who struggle to belong

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