I generally publish a blog from my files each Friday. However, I have been invited to participate in a forum entitled “After Newtown: A National Conversation on Violence and Severe Mental Illness” on March 5th, before an investigative subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
I mentioned in last Monday’s blog that Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Diana DeGette (D-Co.) are holding the forum and I’m thrilled to report that Pat and Debbie Milam also have been invited to give testimony. I wrote about the death of their son, Matthew, in a blog entitled: A Father Grieves: No One Listened to Parents.
Along with my formal invitation came a list of potential questions that might be asked at the forum, which will begin at 10 a.m. in Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. and is open to the public. I don’t know if it will be covered by C-Span but hope it will.
Okay, now is your chance to sound off. Here are the questions:
1. In what ways is mental illness more — or less — treatable than other serious medical conditions?
2. What are the greatest obstacles to seeking treatment for individuals suffering from mental illness and their families?
3. Among individuals with untreated and severe mental illness, when, if at all, is violence — directed at the self or others — most likely?
4. What is the record of federal state, and local programs geared towards improving health outcomes among individuals with severe mental illness?
5. What are the most effective federal, state, and local programs for prevention and early detection of severe mental illness in children and young adults?
6. How can federal programs be improved to reduce barriers to access and improve outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness?
I am eagerly awaiting your input.