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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora