The AACAP mourns the death of psychiatrist Wayne S. Fenton, M.D., who was killed on Sunday, September 3, 2006, in Bethesda, Maryland by a patient.
For Immediate Release
September 6, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC— The AACAP mourns the death of psychiatrist Wayne S. Fenton, M.D., who was killed on Sunday, September 3, 2006, in Bethesda, Maryland by a patient.
“This is a profound loss for psychiatry,” said AACAP President, Thomas F. Anders, M.D., “It is a tragedy whenever a healer like Dr. Fenton dies, not only for his family, friends, and the community, but for the patients who depended on him. His research on schizophrenia contributed to new treatments and better understanding.”
News reports have named a patient of Dr. Fenton’s as responsible for his death. President Anders emphasized that an incident like this is rare and said, “Persons with mental illness are not likely to commit homicide. They need sustained treatment.”
As an expert on schizophrenia, Dr. Fenton worked to help individuals living with the disorder to live more independently. He pressed for change in the justice system’s treatment of individuals with mental illnesses and worked to end mental illness’s pervasive stigma. He also recognized the nationwide shortage of child psychiatrists and advocated for alternative pathways to training.
“Dr. Fenton identified the severe shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists as being critical to the health of children,” said AACAP Past President Marilyn B. Benoit, M.D. “He was a vocal proponent of training psychiatrists who treat adults to be trained in child and adolescent psychiatry,” she said. “He was an advocate for child and adolescent psychiatry,” she added. “We will miss him.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Fenton was known as an eminent researcher and a physician committed to caring for the most severely mentally ill patients. The AACAP offers its condolences to Dr. Fenton’s family.
Representing over 7,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
Our Facts for Families, available free of charge on the AACAP website, provide concise and up-to-date information on a wide array of issues relating to children’s mental health. Written in a simple, straightforward manner, these 88 one-page fact sheets are valuable to anyone raising or working with children. In addition, the AACAP routinely refers the media to expert spokespeople on child and adolescent issues, and sponsors The Campaign for America’s Kids – an initiative designed to fund an Advocacy Institute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, with the goal of mental health for all children.
AACAP Mission: The Mission of the AACAP is the promotion of mentally healthy children, adolescents and families through research, training, advocacy, prevention, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, peer support and collaboration.