Support Mental Health Services

If we as a nation can find billions to repair communities from natural disasters can we not find the money to properly fund mental health centers and programs?

Friday’s horror demands that proper mental health care become available and affordable to every family.

We as a nation, as a state, need to stand up and support funding for community based health care centers that have been systematically underfunded for years. Each budget cut in the past needs a second look, what will it cost to provide excellent services? To provide good services? To provide adequate services? How much will it cost to raise the providers to those levels? What is it worth to us as a society? What are we willing to pay? What level of potential risks are we willing to accept?

I hope that this is a discussion we are prepared to have. I hope that our elected officials, the media and all the opinion influencing organizations out there take a moment to pause for a precious few minutes to have a genuine, serious conversation and that we can move forward together on this critical issue.

While these have been my constant thoughts for the past two days, after reading this blog post… it underscored my feelings, thoughts and fears.

In the memory of those twenty children and those brave women who died protecting them can we not have this conversation?

11 Responses to Support Mental Health Services

  1. Judy Reardon December 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more, Ray. I also think we have to end the stigma around mental illness so people will seek out treatment and will be comfortable talking to their friends and family about their issues.  

    • Dean Barker December 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      President Obama is right. Friday was a day of mourning, but the time to act is now upon us. To do nothing in the face of continuous assaults on our children is to be complicit in those assaults. There may not be a single cure-all for the violence in our nation, however we must start the process and begin the deeper and longer conversations that need to take place. Politics be damned. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in our nation’s history, half of them have happened in the last five years. And there is not a single person in America who doesn’t fear it will happen again. It’s time we recognize the danger and address it.

      It’s time for Members of Congress to act! Congress should be prepared to vote on requiring background checks for all gun sales, closing the terrorist watch list loopholes, and banning assault weapons and high capacity clips. Those measures don’t solve all our problems, but they’re a start. We also need to focus on our mental health care system. We need to support a better process for families and friends to share their concerns and fears with authorities about people’s mental status, and begin to invest in the human infrastructure needed for effective prevention programs that create healthy children. The pattern is clear- action must be taken. To do nothing in the face of pending disaster is to be complicit. It’s time to act. It’s time to vote.

      cc: Sens. Shaheen, Ayotte, Reps-Elect Shea-Porter, Kuster

      • Dean Barker December 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

        I call on NH parents of all party affiliations to  demand that our congressional delegation co-sponsor and publicly advocate for whatever emerges here in House and Senate:

        Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told Meet the Press that she “intended to introduce a gun control bill on the first day of the next Congress. Paired with a twin version in the House, Feinstein’s law would take aim at limiting the sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons, along with the capacity of high-capacity magazines.”

        Said Feinstein: “It can be done.”

        She also said she expected that President Obama would publicly support the proposal.

  2. BurtCohen December 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    I certainly would never have seen that article. Extremely powerful. This moment, exactly the right time, must focus like a laser on both keeping the multi-round guns away from dangerous people, and a much greater commitment to addressing mental health. Powerful piece. Is there one particular organization pushing this agenda? How can we best help?  

  3. Rep. Jim Splaine December 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    There is/are no one or two or even three solutions to the problem of violence — we need to consider a culture change.  

    But with so many cuts in social programs, and attacks on the purpose and value of government, violence will only become worse.  And THAT costs us all more in the long run than not doing what we should up-front.

    “It takes a village” to address these problems. Fortunately, the dialogue is continuing…  

  4. Ray Buckley December 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    On this subject, I can’t figure out how to link it but it is worth  the read

  5. Kathy Sullivan 2 December 16, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    One small step here in New Hampshire would be to undo the changes made to the CHINS law so that more kids are getting services who need them.

    We also need to stop cuts to mental health services generally.

    That, and pass a ban on assault weapons; it shouldn’t be so easy for a homicidal person to have access to semi-automatic weapons.  

  6. Lucy Edwards December 17, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    is a political system that has been so distorted by money in campaigns that it can no longer work for most of us.  As we go forward this year, campaign finance reform, disclosure, public funding are issues we must discuss, because if we cannot elect representatives at every level of government who are not in thrall to big money, we can’t do any of the things we have identified in the past couple of days, and the past couple of years, and the past couple of decades, that will stop the infliction of ever greater pain on all our children, never mind the rest of us.  

    And I do believe we can do more than one thing at a time, and I don’t want to hear all the reasons we can’t do any of these things, because they are all excuses.  We have the knowledge, the skills, the tools and the means to solve all these problems, we need the political will.  

  7. JonnyBBad December 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    this article is at the intersection of my mother’s life…she served as Chairman of Board of Mental Health in CT for 5 years late 70’s early 80’s under Gov O’Neill, then as one of founders of CCCAGV(CT Cit. against Gun violence).She has spent a lifetime working for better treatment for the mentally ill, and to make assault weapons illegal and limit handgun sales. She ran a 504 to raise money to lobby, got folks like Chris Dodd and the chiefs of police on board… They passed some of the the toughest laws in the country, but its a fact that there are so many guns out there and they are so easy to get. The larger question is about our violent society…where six year olds play Grand Theft Auto and kill “ho’s” for points…its crazy…we should make guns as least as hard to acquire as say, Oxycontin…

  8. JonnyBBad December 18, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    from the former Chair of the CT State Board of Mental Health and founder of a group that successfully passed an assault weapons bill…also known as words of Mom 12.18.12

    And, no, Martha. This is not a mental health issue. This is a gun control issue, and a social health issue. First, we need to make guns less readily available, less convenient, and less opportune, and then, as a nation, we need to have a conversation not just about violence, but about our collective anger management issue, an anger management issue that has led to eleven years of non-stop warfare, and a sociopathic addiction to military assault rifles, drones, and other weapons of mass destruction.

    This isn’t about personal mental health issues, but societal mental health. Even if it were possible to wave a wand and make each and every individual in this country magically sane, we would still have a problem with gun violence. Violence is deeply embedded in our collective consciousness,
    whether it be instant results achieved from a firearm, or immediate impact of bombs, and remote-controlled killing machines.

    So, please, stop trying to personalize this. Stop looking for this or that psychiatric disorder to explain a problem that belongs in the public domain.Stop trying to find new and ingenious ways to not blame firearms. Stop thinking because a state has sane gun control laws, that’s all we need.

    No, we need federal legislation to regulate firearm sales and use. At a minimum, we need to reinstate the ban on assault weapons. We need to stop sales of firearms on the Internet and at gun shows, and most of all, we need to recognize that this is about our national mental health, and not that of a lone gunman.

    • calvin December 19, 2012 at 12:05 am #

      The best thing I have read anywhere about the massacre.

Site maintenance and hosting by Hoeferweb