It's been a year since the tragedy in Newtown, CT took so many lives, including that of the gunman, who some believe was battling serious mental illness but may not have gotten all the treatment he needed.
We’ve heard lots, since then, about the need for more mental health resources, and lots about the rollercoaster ride of federal and state funding for those resources. Here’s a round up of some of the year’s most significant developments for mental health patients and advocates:
A legislative task force on gun safety is slated to hold its first meeting this afternoon Thursday at the Statehouse.
Assembling the gun safety task force was one of the few steps taken by the General Assembly in response to the school shooting last year in Newtown, Connecticut. But all the members weren’t named until last month, shortly after media reports that the task force hadn’t yet met.
Several weeks ago, a shooter opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington D.C. It turns out the suspected shooter Aaron Alexis was in Newport prior to the shooting. During his stay Newport police were called to his hotel room, and he reported hearing voices. The encounter, combined with others, has spurred debate about whether authorities should have seen red flags and done more.
President Obama praised former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy for his support of legislation that made mental health coverage mandatory on health insurance policies.
The president’s remarks came Monday at the White House National Conference on Mental Health. In his opening remarks, the president praised several individuals, including Kennedy, who struggled with bipolar disorder and substance abuse during his years representing Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Public Radio health care reporter joined afternoon host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about what public health experts and legal scholars have to say about mental health records and the gun background check database. A transcript follows. You can listen to our feature story on Rhode Island's lack of participation in the National Instant Criminal Background Check, or NICS, database here.