Thursday, December 12, 2013

APA President Addresses Sandy Hook Shooting Anniversary

Saturday will mark one year since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that resulted in the deaths of 26 students and educators. In conjunction with that tragic anniversary, APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., issued a statement today saying "our thoughts and prayers remain with the loved ones still struggling to come to terms with the loss of innocent lives." With issues of mental illness and access to treatment in an intense public spotlight after the Newtown shootings, Lieberman also addressed recent developments that will impact mental health care for the better.

He stated that APA appreciates the Obama administration's actions to increase access to mental health care, including to preventive services such as screenings and behavioral assessments, emphasizing that "Early detection and intervention for mental disorders in adults and children will limit and ultimately prevent the consequences of mental disorders in our society." He added that the Affordable Care Act, as well as the issuance last month of the final rule to implement the federal parity law, "send a strong message on the part of the White House that access to quality mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment must be one of our nation's highest priorities." He also applauded the just-announced appropriation of $100 million for community-based mental health and substance abuse services as another sign that the Obama administration understands the urgency of improving access to mental health treatment.

To read Lieberman's full statement, click here. To read about how residents of Newtown are responding to the upcoming anniversary, see the Psychiatric News article, "Newtown Shuns Spotlight as It Tries to Heal."


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