6 June, 16:46

Mass Shootings In The US Spark Mental Health Debate

Mass Shootings In The US Spark Mental Health Debate

By Andrew Hiller

Washington (VR) – Following shootings at Santa Barbara, Newtown, Aurora, and elsewhere, major legislation is being proposed to reinvent both the bureaucracy and administration of mental health services in America.

The key author of one of the bills, Tim Murphy, a Congressman from Pennsylvania, is the only sitting member who was at one point a practicing psychiatrist. His proposals have come under some fire from critics because of both the policy's scope and what some critics are calling "coercive and harmful measures including involuntary detainment.“

Part of the problem with the American mental health care system, Debbie Plotnick, Senior Director of State Policy at Mental Health America, says is that it tends to approach mental health with a band aid philosophy addressing symptoms after an event shocks a community. Thus, many problems which could be prevented are missed and allowed to fester until it reaches a late stage.

Plotnick's vision includes folding in primary care physicians, pediatricians, parents, and teachers to be involved in diagnostic measures to try to begin the diagnosis and treatment of people suffering from mental illnesses long before a tragedy like a mass shooting.

To listen to an analysis of the plan please go to the link for full audio.

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