Newtown Tragedy Provides Impetus To Examine US Mental Healthcare.
NBC Nightly News (12/17, story 5, 1:25, Williams) reported, "This tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has already ignited a national conversation about guns, as we have just seen." However, mental illness has been a "component...in all the serious gun crimes we have covered. One in 17 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, that's according to the government, and their symptoms range in severity, of course. But fewer than a third of them receive treatment." Chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman, MD, explained, "Less than 10% of our healthcare dollars are spent on mental healthcare." While well-to-do people can pay for care and the poor may get some care through Medicaid, other people fall through the cracks.
Lawmakers Call For Conversation On Mental Health Issues. CQ (12/18, Attias, Subscription Publication) reports, "Lawmakers in both chambers are calling for Congress to start a conversation about mental health issues in the wake of last week's deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, with one goal of ensuring adequate funding for services for those who need treatment." Even though "much of the discussion since last week's shooting has focused on gun policy, several members are also emphasizing the role mental illness has played in many national tragedies." But, "beyond a broader policy push, the shooting in Connecticut could also make it more difficult for Congress to allow spending reductions for mental health services as part of the fiscal cliff, deficit reduction efforts or the appropriations process next year."