Friday, January 18, 2013

APA Applauds White House Gun-Control Proposals

Speaking on behalf of the APA yesterday, President Dilip Jeste, M.D., said the organization applauds the proposals set forth by President Obama to reduce gun violence. “I am strongly encouraged by the President’s recommendations because they include a focus on improving mental health care," Jeste told Psychiatric News, "I am also glad that the President’s statement mentioned that people with mental illnesses are more often victims of violence than perpetrators of the same.”

A new initiative outlined by Obama would provide training for school personnel and help ensure that young people who need help are referred to treatment. This is in line with an effective school outreach program developed by the American Psychiatric Foundation aimed at improving early identification of young people with mental health problems. The program, called Typical or Troubled?, works with school systems throughout the country to help identify warning signs of mental health problems in teens and teach educators how to respond to them. The Obama administration has also proposed funding for state efforts to support young adults with mental health concerns, to support school-based violence prevention efforts, and to train 5,000 additional mental health professionals to serve students and young adults.

Jeste also expressed the organization's appreciation for Obama's clarification that doctors are not prohibited from asking their patients about guns in their homes. APA has actively opposed a Florida law to bar physicians from discussing gun ownership with their patients. Read more about the Florida law in Psychiatric News, here.


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