Tag: Sandy Hook Elementary
I remember quite well the uproar after 32 innocent people lost their lives at Virginia Tech. Virginia politicians agreed that we needed far better mental health treatment, more resources to identify those in need of treatment. The minute budget troubles came along, first to be cut were services to people. Gone was that commitment to change the state's grossly inadequate mental health care.
There was a movement years ago to close large mental hospitals and move treatment for mental illness into community settings. The funding for those community services never was adequate, and in the Great Recession funding became even worse, as states and localities, including Virginia, cut budgets for social services to the bone.
Caught in the middle of this national shame are the estimated one in 17 people in America who suffer from a serious mental illness and the families that have to deal with them without the resources they need. As Liza Long explains in an article titled I Am Adam Lanza's Mother, "With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill...It's time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That's the only way our nation can ever truly heal."