The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today convened a bipartisan forum "After Newtown: A National Conversation on Violence and Severe Mental Illness." Members heard from leading experts in the mental health community as well as parents of children who suffer and have suffered from mental illness.
"The vast majority of Americans with a mental illness are non-violent, and in fact, much more likely to be the victims than the perpetrator of a violent act. That's why this subcommittee is working to identify precisely what federal resources -- in support of both research and care -- are being devoted to those among the mentally ill who are most prone to violence: the severely mentally ill who are not being treated," stated Murphy. "And even more importantly -- what fraction of these resources are actually reaching these individuals?"
Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, "The tragic loss at Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 innocent children and six teachers has shocked the conscience of this country. To ensure such horror never happens again, we must confront the realities of severe mental illness and the connection to violence. We must also learn about the barriers and challenges facing parents who are trying to take care of someone who has a severe mental illness."
The subcommittee's forum is part of an ongoing review, led by Chairman Murphy, into whether federal dollars devoted to mental health are reaching those individuals with the most serious mental illnesses and to ensure the most effective treatments are available to them. Prior to serving in Congress, Rep. Murphy was a board-certified practicing psychologist specializing in child and family treatment.