Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, released the following statement on the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
"I am saddened and troubled by this tragic, senseless violence in Connecticut. Having children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of my own, my heart grieves with the parents who have lost their little ones. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with the students, teachers, families, and the entire Newtown community this evening."
"Today's tragic events shed light on the continued discussion and action needed in Congress to address the issues of mental health and gun safety. We must all work together to secure and protect the federal funding needed to carry out mental health services and programs for all Americans. We must ensure that mental health support is made available for all children, their families, first responders, and the community of Newtown to help deal with this tragic event."
Napolitano serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and has introduced legislation, the Mental Health in Schools Act, to fund on-site mental health services for youth. The program is designed as a preventive measure to identify mental health problems in children early on and to help prevent tragic outcomes like depression, crime, and suicide that can occur later in life. The Mental Health in Schools Act is modeled off of Napolitano's "Youth Suicide Prevention Program," which she helped develop and fund for schools in her district since 2001.