Talk of the Hill: Upcoming Hearing Will Discuss Whether Tragedies like Newtown Can be Prevented

As part of ongoing efforts by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to look into mental health issues raised by the Newtown tragedy, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) announced that the subcommittee will hold a forum with leading national experts to explore issues related to severe mental illness and violence on March 5, 2013.

Murphy described the forum as an opportunity to examine the challenges and barriers facing families and whether the current system is delivering the programs needed. DeGette said the forum will serves as an important first step towards addressing deficiencies in the mental health system which is critical to saving lives. The forum will bring together the nation’s top mental health experts, including leading researchers and providers both in the federal government and private practice to engage in a dialogue on severe mental illness and how to identify and treat those at risk of violent behavior. The panelists will also explore issues related to early detection of mental illness; how the treatment for the severely mentally ill has changed over time; the programs and treatments currently being offered, including involuntary treatment, and where these services are provided, including inpatient settings, health centers, schools, and by the criminal justice system; what treatments are successful; and barriers individuals and families face when seeking treatment for the severely mentally ill.

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