Mental Health: A Mother’s Story, & Conversation on Mental Health Care to take place in Atlantic.


October 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The mother of a young man who shot and killed Aplington-Parkersburg Football Coach Ed Thomas in June 2009 will be the guest speaker during a Conversation on Mental Health in Atlantic, later this month. A jury found Joan Becker’s son Mark guilty of 1st degree murder in March 2010, after rejecting his insanity defense. He was later sentenced to life in prison. Joan Becker, who has two other sons, is making her way around the state to hold conversations about mental health issues.

Joan Becker speaks in Orient Sept. 8th (courtesy Wallace Center)

She spoke last month at the Wallace Country Life Center in rural Orient, about her son‘s struggle with paranoid schizophrenia . Her visit to Atlantic will take place 7-p.m. October 20th, at Iowa Western Community College. Cass County Mental Health Coordinator Teresa Kanning told the Board of Supervisors during their meeting this (Wednesday) morning, that Becker will discuss what parts of the mental health system failed her son, and which parts were helpful.

She says a local mental health panel discussion will follow her presentation about how the system works or doesn’t work, in Cass County. The event is open to the public, but seating is limited. Kanning says she’s very excited to have Mrs. Becker speak in Cass County. To reserve your seat, call 712-243-4424.