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Tell Us: Should There Be More Focus on Mental Health Laws Following Sandy Hook Shooting?

After a mass shooting, the first issue that comes up for debate is gun control. But how should mental health issues be addressed?

The country is still in shock over the Dec. 14 massacre in Connecticut and already the debate on gun control has kicked into high gear. Often lost in the debate are questions about mental health issues and laws that address them.

Authorities say Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother that morning and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School to commit the horrific killing spree before killing himself. According to initial reports, Lanza appeared to have had some mental problems prior to the shooting, but it is difficult to say that it would have predicted this.

Some mental health advocates are pushing for more mental health support and resources at schools to help at-risk kids, suggesting that mental health legislation would be an easier sell at Congress.

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, one of Monrovia's new representatives in congress, issued a statement addressing the need for more mental health legislation following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"We must all work together to secure and protect the federal funding needed to carry out mental health services and programs for all Americans," said Napolitano. "We must ensure that mental health support is made available for all children, their families, first responders, and the community of Newtown to help deal with this tragic event.”

How should mental health issues be addressed? Is there a need to secure more funding for mental health services and programs?

Sue Colby December 22, 2012 at 02:15 PM
1. Funding needs to be increased, not cut as it has nationwide in 2012. 2. Acute hospitalization needs to go beyond the 5-10 day stipulation of insurers. 3. Pay needs to be increased to keep quality counselors, social workers, psychologist, and other staff. 4. Emperically proven interventions need to be implemented. 5. Misdagnoses and overmedicated or wrongly medicated needs to be addressed. I'm certain more could be added to the list......
R. Ray Morford December 22, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Years ago when President Reagan was Gov of California, mental Health hospitals where closed and patients were placed in group homes across the state. We then experienced these dear people on the street. Law Enforcement had the dubious job of returning them to the homes. Secondly, laws now need to be changed making it easier place mental patience under the care of doctors. Thirdly, a large percentage of homeless people have mental health issues who need help. Fourth, WE ALL must realize that some must permanently be removed from the street, not only for their own safety, but for the general safety of the public. The tragedy at Sandy Hook School may have been avoided if the process was made less difficult. The General Public cannot turn a blind eye to this problem. We become callused to the fact these dear souls are around us.
Jill Pyeatt December 23, 2012 at 03:16 AM
There is no clear evidence that the young man who supposedly killed those children was mentally ill. I've read that he was on the autism spectrum, but that's certainly not a mental illness.
Jill Pyeatt December 23, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Ironically, if Adam Lanza did carry out the shootings, he was supposedly taking a drug which has the known side effect of violent behavior. It's possible, then, that the culprit was the drug, not his supposed mental illness. We all need to calm down, demand complete answers of what really, happened, and then possibly react.
andyvancleve December 23, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Fingerprint activated safety on all weapons. God tracker on some. Unbreakable Windows on schools. The shooter would not be able to release the safety on his mothers guns, would not break in through a window. Then address mental health.

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