Wednesday, April 9, 2014
“While we don’t know all of the details at this point, what we do know is that these incidents are rarely spontaneous and in fact have been developing over a long period of time, offering many opportunities to intervene in a mental health crisis situation."
Rep. Murphy Statement on Attack at Western PA High School
Urging Swift Action on Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act to Aid Those In Psychiatric Need
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Congressman Tim Murphy released the following statement regarding the attack at Franklin Regional High School, which is located adjacent to the 18th district.
“While we don’t know all of the details at this point, what we do know is that these incidents are rarely spontaneous and in fact have been developing over a long period of time, offering many opportunities to intervene in a mental health crisis situation. We know if we identify kids, get to them early, help them with medication and counseling, it can make a world of difference. But there is a severe shortage of outpatient and inpatient treatment options for these children, which is why we need to pass the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,” he said.
“Our hearts go out to the students of Franklin Regional High School and the families of the entire school district. They are in our prayers tonight.”
Murphy authored the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act following a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system. Nationwide support for his legislation has come from newspaper editors, physicians, and parents of children with mental illness.
Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act has been described as the most comprehensive overhaul of the mental health system since the Kennedy Administration. The legislation expands access to child and adolescent psychiatric and psychological care. To address the shortage of child mental health professionals, the legislation promotes tele-psychiatry and an innovative and proven care program that connects pediatricians with mental health professionals when a child presents a mental or behavioral health disorder. The bill also provides training grants for law enforcement and first responders to understand how and when to properly intervene when a person is experiencing a mental health crisis. Murphy’s bill also encourages states to adopt a “need for treatment” standard of commitment rather than the imminent danger standard and breaks down convoluted legal barriers preventing family members from helping a loved one with a serious mental illness.
Two major components of the Murphy bill were recently adopted by the House of Representatives, and signed into law on last Monday.
Murphy’s mental health reform bill was the topic of an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing last Thursday.
Posted by Karen Easter, Mental Health Advocate for Assisted Outpatient Treatment at 6:37 PM