Bill Likely to Bring Big Improvements on Mental Health

Senators making quiet progress on substantial reforms in care: NYT
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2013 5:06 PM CDT
Bill Likely to Make Big Improvements on Mental Health
In this July 23, 2012, photo, accused Aurora shooter James Holmes appears in court in Centennial, Colo.   (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)

With the Senate poised to start debating gun legislation next week, much of the attention has focused on what the final bill won't have—a ban on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, for example. But a New York Times story weighs in on what the bill probably will have, and it's no small thing: "some of the most significant advancements in treating mental illness in years," writes Jeremy Peters. Among the proposals in the works: money to build community mental health centers and to train teachers to spot mental illness early, more suicide-prevention programs, and more Medicaid funds dedicated to mental health.

"This is our moment,” says the president of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. “I hate the connection between gun violence and the need for better mental health care, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.” The progress is taking place largely out of the spotlight, and it's happening because lawmakers from both parties are on board, notes the Times. (More mental health stories.)

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