Helping a loved one who is experiencing a severe mental illness, especially someone who may not realize they are sick, is one of the greatest gifts you can give. For some, it may mean the difference between life and tragedy. ~ Treatment Advocacy Center
Can the U.S. find consensus in better mental health access to curb gun violence?
Excerpted Transcript, Dec. 16, 2013 Jeffrey Lieberman, president of American Psychiatric Association: “…though, our treatment of mental illness has not gotten any better. And over half of the mass killings that have occurred in the last five years have been from untreated people with mental illness.But I think there has been some forward movement…Congressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania introduced historic legislation this week on the anniversary of the Newton tragedy to try and reform how mental health care services are delivered.”
President Obama would never let the banks write his tax policy, but he has no problem letting the mental-health industry write his mental-health policy. Rather than funding mission creep, Representative Murphy focuses on mission control. When President Obama took office, he said he would listen to good ideas wherever they came from. Representative Murphy has good ideas. The two of them should talk. …Murphy drew on the expertise of scholars who’ve been critical of the mental-health industry, some of whom, like Sally Satel of the American Enterprise Institute, are affiliated with center-right think tanks that devote their efforts to crafting workable policy solutions. Mental illness is not one of the most pressing issues on the minds of U.S. voters, yet it is an issue that comes up every time there is a mass shooting or some other spectacular crime committed by a person plagued by mental illness. And when this happens, critics of expanding government as the first resort often find themselves at a loss. There is also a labor market dimension to mental illness, as people with severe mental illness often find it impossible to work, a problem that has grown in severity quite dramatically over the past quarter-century. So this is the kind of issue where you’d want an intelligent and resourceful backbencher to specialize, and to craft a proposal that can attract broad support within the caucus.
Murphy’s proposal, in broad outline, aims to achieve savings across the public sector as a whole by deploying mental illness resources more effectively. It does, however, involve restructuring existing government agencies, empowering some bureaucracies at the expense of others, and devoting resources to a segment of the population that generates large social costs. In short, Murphy’s bill has the federal government do more than get out of the way. Rather, it represents an attempt at making government more effective, one of the core objectives of reform conservatives. One hopes that Murphy’s bill will attract positive attention, as it might then convince other GOP backbenchers to pursue policy innovations of their own.
A year after Newtown, 10,000 gun-related deaths and no congressional action
By Editorial Board Dec. 14, 2013
One potential glimmer of hope came earlier this week when Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a psychologist, announced legislation that seeks to restructure federal mental health funding to focus more heavily on serious mental illness. Democrats ought to join his effort.
Additional information on the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), including bill text, a summary, and letters of support, can be viewed here.
In his sixth term representing Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district encompassing suburban Pittsburgh including parts of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Greene Counties, Rep. Tim Murphy also serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps as a psychologist treating Wounded Warriors with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Prior to serving in Congress, Dr. Murphy, author of “The Angry Child” and “Overcoming Passive-Aggression,” was a practicing psychologist specializing in child and family treatment.