Considering Mental Health Care Changes In Aftermath Of Shootings

Missouri and Wisconsin officials suggest moves to expand state mental health services while a Georgia Senate panel approves changes in procedures for involuntary commitments to psychiatric care.

St. Louis Beacon: Nixon Says Expanding Mental Health Services Offers Better Crime Prevention Than Guns In Classrooms
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is touting his $10 million proposal to expand the state's mental health services as a key component of any effort to prevent a school-shooting tragedy like the December mass shooting at a grade school in Connecticut. … When asked, Nixon acknowledged that he believed that expanding mental health treatment services was a better focus for the General Assembly than some legislative proposals calling for more guns in schools (Mannies, 2/6).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Gov. Scott Walker's Budget To Include $29 Million For Mental Health
In the wake of recent mass shootings in Wisconsin and elsewhere nationally, Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday proposed nearly $29 million more in state money for treating mental illness -- a move that could have a big impact on efforts to update Milwaukee County's outdated system of care. Speaking to the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Republican governor said that the funding would improve children's lives, lower the use of other public services by mentally ill residents left untreated and pull in millions of dollars in additional federal money. Also Wednesday, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) announced a bipartisan task force that will hold hearings around the state to address mental illness (Stein, 2/6).

Georgia Health News: Panels OKs Letting Counselors Commit People
A state Senate panel unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would allow licensed professional counselors to make involuntary commitments of people with mental illness or an addiction. The licensed professional counselors would join physicians, psychologists, clinical social workers and clinical nurse specialists in being able to order involuntary treatment in Georgia. A similar bill passed the Senate last year but failed to clear the House (Miller, 2/6).

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