There is a school of thought that mass killings like the one in Newtown, Connecticut could be prevented in the future if funding for mental health facilities is increased.
According to Linda Frederico Kohler, whose organization NAMI bills itself as is the nation’s largest nonprofit, grassroots mental health education, advocacy, and support organization:
Do we want Connecticut to happen again, three times, four times, ever again? Never! A mother wanted her teenager to see a psychiatrist; they could not get in to see someone for six weeks. What has happened now is going to be rippled throughout our communities for years to come if we don’t address it now.
Because mental health funding has dropped consistently in recent years — since 2009 $2 billion has been cut — there is growing support for investing more fully than before.
Maryland, despite its ranking as one of the best states for access to mental health care, has lost 4% of its mental health budget since 2009. State officials are pleading for more funding. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said:
I think mental health is something that has not gotten the support and resources that it needs. There’s a lot of troubled folks out there. We have a culture of violence. You never know what gets in the head of somebody who’s not well.