Press Release – Lindsay Clancy, death of her children

POSTPARTUM SUPPORT VIRGINIA -Lindsay Clancy, death of her children ARLINGTON, Virginia
On January 24, 2023, Lindsey Clancy, from Massachusetts, allegedly suffered from a postpartum mood disorder. Allegedly, She began to suffer from postpartum psychosis, a rare emergent perinatal disease impacting 1-2 postnatal people per 1,000. Allegedly, during her psychotic episode, she attempted to kill all three of her children. Ms. Clancy then tried to end her own life. Lindsey Clancy, like Andrea Yates, Carol Coronado, possibly Catherine Zalis and Miriam Carey, Lisette Bamenga, and Kimberlynn Bolaños, may be treated more like a criminal than a woman struggling with an emergent psychiatric disorder that can be fatal and result in the death of infants and children. 
People have already asked, “Why didn’t she reach out?” Even if one knows the signs or symptoms, once psychosis has woven its way into your thoughts, a person’s ability to think clearly is often compromised. The disease may have progressed too far for a person to know they need mental health help. This is true regardless of your profession, education, economic status or background. No one is immune. 
Another common question is, “Why did she have to kill her kids?” In many cases, the psychotic mom believes that killing her children, and sometimes herself, may be the only way to save them. Remember Andrea Yates? She was a devout Christian, yet believed she could save her children from Hell by killing them. In Ms. Yates’ delusional state, she thought she was protecting her children.
Postpartum Support Virginia provides support and resources to women in crisis. We deal with psychosis more frequently than many providers. We see women from all backgrounds who are afraid and psychotic. 
We see the confusion. We see ill-equipped hospitals without beds and breast pumps for mental health patients. We see mental health workers and law enforcement professionals who are also ill-prepared and overwhelmed. Despite the best efforts of many individuals, we see a systemic lack of training, knowledge of postpartum psychosis, resources, and funding. 
We believe these women and families deserve excellent care. Women can heal from postpartum psychosis. They deserve our deep compassion and assistance. If Ms. Clancy’s alleged psychosis was treatable and preventable, imagine her lifelong, complicated grief and guilt. It wasn’t only Ms. Clancy’s job to determine what was wrong.
 In the United States, too many mothers are left without support. Often, mothers only see their birth professional at a six-week postpartum check-up. In that case, there isn’t much time for an OBGYN or midwife to fully assess a mother’s mood and challenges. Some mothers return to work as soon as two weeks postpartum, leaving little time to heal. Often, Moms are left at home alone with a newborn and toddler. Many moms do not have home visitors to check on them and their babies. They have very brief appointments with pediatricians who must focus on the baby and may not have time to carefully screen, care for, or refer her to someone who can help. Partners often have to work due to limited time off or lack of parental leave. So often, there is no nighttime support so they can sleep—and sleep is critical to decreasing risks associated with perinatal mood disorders. 
This multi-system failure highlights how public policy, medical practices, the mental health provider shortage, and lack of community support have failed mothers and families. We must not turn our heads in horror but rather work together to create change.
Here are some of the symptoms of postpartum psychosis, which can begin even after 12 weeks:
Dramatic mood fluctuations or mood swings
•Delusions or hallucinations
•Irritability, aggression
•Mania, which means a decreased need for sleep with an increase in energy
•Depression, lack of interest, difficulty concentrating, slowing down physically, sense of hopelessness, extreme guilt or shame.
•Mixed state, having both symptoms of mania and depression.
•Disorganized or bizarre behavior towards the child, others, or themselves
•Olfactory (smell) and visual (seeing) hallucinations
•Not all psychotic people will sound “bizarre.”
Moms struggling with these symptoms can not be left alone with a baby or other children. Please take them to the nearest emergency room or call 911. Often these moms need advocates for specialized psychiatric care, assistance with getting basic needs met, and help to navigate the legal or medical system to be treated with dignity and compassion. Postpartum Support Virginia, and other chapters of Postpartum Support International are here to ensure no one is left to navigate this crisis alone.
Find help at
By Mandolin Restivo, MA, CD, Executive Director|
Elizabeth Wilkins-McKee,MSW, LCSW, PLLC, Board President|

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