News / Health

    Health Experts Ask for New Funds for Mental Health Programs

    Health Experts Ask for New Funds for Mental Health Programsi
    X
    December 21, 2012 12:13 PM
    It's not yet known if the 20-year-old man who murdered his mother, then gunned down 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school was suffering from mental illness, but the tragic incident has sparked a national debate over the quality of psychiatric care in the United States. As VOA's Carol Pearson reports, a coalition of prominent mental health experts is asking President Obama and members of Congress to take immediate action to support nationwide improvements in mental health programs.
    Health Experts Ask for New Funds for Mental Health Programs
    Carol Pearson
    It's not yet known if the 20-year-old man who murdered his mother, then gunned down 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school was suffering from mental illness, but the tragic incident has sparked a national debate over the quality of psychiatric care in the United States.  A coalition of prominent mental health experts is asking President Obama and members of Congress to take immediate action to support nationwide improvements in mental health programs.

    In recent years, the U.S. has been racked by a number of mass shootings.

    In Tuscon in 2011, Jared Loughner opened fire outside a grocery store, killing six people, injuring 13.  Then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among the injured.

    Last July, 12 people were shot and killed in a Colorado movie theater.   Dozens were wounded.

    Mass killings have taken place in California, Wisconsin, Washington state and Minnesota.  After each shooting, those who knew the killers spoke about their expressions of anger, their feelings of isolation, strange behavior or mental illness.

    But after the murder of six- and seven-year-olds in Connecticut, many Americans, including President Obama, have called for a review of the U.S. mental health system.

    A coalition of mental health and substance abuse experts has written a letter to the president and Congress requesting immediate health policy reforms and new safeguards against random acts of violence.

    Psychologist Ron Manderscheid, with the National Association of Counties, leads the coalition. "Only about a third of the people who actually have a mental illness get any care," he noted. "Only 10 percent of people with substance abuse conditions ever get any care."

    The letter calls for doubling the capacity of public mental health and substance abuse programs, whose budgets have been sharply cut in recent years.   

    It calls for strengthening programs that promote mental health, training teachers and others to recognize signs of mental illness, and providing early help to those who display signs of mental illness.

    "What we’ve learned in mental health is that mental health is not only about people with mental illness," Manderscheid stated. "We’ve taken a much broader perspective here that mental health is not only about the community, but about the community and your family and how these things function for you."  

    The letter also calls for a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and large-capacity ammunition clips.

    "We think it’s important that we take a position on this and not simply talk about mental health and substance abuse because we view the assault weapons as being a public health problem in the community," explained Manderscheid.

    Many gun dealers say sales have spiked in the past few days.

    Experts note that people with mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a crime than to commit one. They say the first step toward providing better mental health care in the country is removing the stigma from having a mental illness.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Tony from: wXNlFXPvrSKvLhc
    January 16, 2013 1:00 PM
    At last! Someone with the insight to solve the pborlem!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.