May 27th, 2014
01:12 PM ET

Can Mental Health Bill Help Stop Mass Killings?

Rep. Tim Murphy's (R-Pa.) mental health bill will go before Congress on Thursday.

According to the lawmaker's website, the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” attempts to address "the nation’s broken mental health system by focusing programs and resources on psychiatric care for patients & families most in need of services."

“How much is enough before America and Congress says ‘we have got to pass some laws here which change the way, fundamentally, that we approach mental illness, ' Rep. Murphy said Wednesday.

"I think that time is absolutely now.”

On Tuesday, Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner said this legislation does have the potential to stop mass killings like the recent massacre in California.

Dr. Welner said the "system has got to change to enable people who are in crisis to receive treatment, to be placed in a safe environment so that they don't endanger themselves or others."


READ: Competing mental health bills set up partisan showdown


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  1. Jackie G.

    As a psychiatric nurse I have seen the changes in the mental health system over the past 25 years. At times I feel like we are going backwards. I am all for early detection of mental illness. There needs to be changes within the healthcare system in order for this to happen, that is why I am for this bill and for families/society to be more involved. We don't need any more of theses cases. I work at a psychiatric center that is now in the process of being converting into a forensic center....I originally came to this center for the opportunity to work with children as I had earlier in my career....the children's unit closed ...Why.... well because "children don't bring in money" was one reason told to me...? So now we are shuffling the civil patients out to the community and out patient services or to other facilities much farther away...Something does need to change..but if we have no place to help these people Before they commit a tragedy... well I guess we will need more forensic facilities...pretty sad don't you think?

    May 28, 2014 at 8:13 am | Reply
  2. Lisa Butler

    I think Dr. Welner is an excellent and knowledgeable person who can help us all better understand what we need to change. It is important we call contact our congressman and not let the story fade, as the past tragedies have. As a mother of a 22-year-old with depression, it can be very frustrating not to be able to communicate with therapists and doctors, and even more frustrating for your health insurance not to acknowledge mental health IS healthcare.

    May 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Reply

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