After Newtown: hope for plugs in mental health gaps

I guess we should be grateful.  The Washington Post reports that, after Newton, support for spending on mental health has soared.

Brady Dennis and Lena H. Sun write that mental health professionals are jumping up and down and clicking their heels in delight that finally, finally, the spotlight is shining on the need to end budgeting slashes and plug the gaps in the mental care network.

"A year that could have brought another round of thinning resources and a spot far down the priority list of policymakers is shaping up quite differently in some statehouses," they note. 

Some states, like Minnesota -- long a free-thinking place with a conscience (I lived there briefly) -- is hoping to institute mental programs and resources in schools. 

"Wisconsin’s famously budget-conscious governor, Republican Scott Walker, this month proposed a nearly $30 million boost to mental-health spending in his budget, including funding for a program that allows counties to provide mental-health services to people in their homes," they write. "Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) proposed an $18.5 million effort that includes money for a statewide mental-health crisis hotline, walk-in centers and housing vouchers for the severely mentally ill."

It's happening all over the country.  Forgive me for thinking, why now?  Why does it always take a crisis before people act?  But I guess we should be grateful.  Maybe the next Adam Lanza will be caught before he pulls the trigger.


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