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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Dent Lauds Sweeping Reforms in Mental Healthcare

A disturbing increase in the number of mass shootings evokes two diametrically opposed reactions - buy more guns or make them harder to get. Few pay close attention to those pulling the trigger, beyond determining his or her ethnicity or religious disposition. So it comes as a relief to see that the U.S. House yesterday voted, almost unanimously, for sweeping reforms in what can only be regarded as a broken mental health-care system.

Approximately one in every five 5 U.S. adults — 43.8 million people — experience mental illness in a given year. This is on top of 20 million Americans addicted to alcohol or other drugs.

According to co-sponsor Charlie Dent, the Bill proposes "commonsense reforms, streamlines and improves care, increases the amount of resources available to help those suffering, and continues care for those already receiving help from a mental health professional." Dent states that the "Helping Families in Mental Crisis Act" will give family members and caregivers greater say in the treatment of loved ones.

Other key provisions include:

• A national increase in the number of in-patient beds for those receiving psychiatric treatment;

• An initiative to increase access to mental health treatment for individuals in underserved and rural areas by promoting tele-psychiatry;

• Ensuring a smooth transition from one level of psychiatric care to the next, preventing patients from falling through cracks during the transitions;

• Increasing the growth of successful new treatment methodologies through the establishment of a National Mental Health Policy Laboratory;

• Greater coordination of existing mental health programs through the creation of an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders within the Department of Health and Human Services;

• Providing comprehensive information to families and individuals regarding what treatments they have the right to access.

Congressman Dent lauded Tom Murphy, the Pittsburgh Congressman who proposed this bill.

Do you think you might suffer from mental illness? If you answer Yes to any of the questions below, you should immediately commit yourself.

1) Do you have or read a blog?

2) Have you ever been a member of a school board?

3) Do you support Hillary Clinton for President?

4) Do you support Donald Trump for President?


Anonymous said...

Can we have a mental health test on Trump "before" the election?

Anonymous said...

The only "sane" vote is for Hillary Clinton.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If hillbillery is elected does that mean slick willie gets all the interns he wants?

Anonymous said...

Many of the mental health issues we have today came about because the Progressives closed the Asylums, like the Allentown State Hospital. Then the mentally ill were forced out into society to fend for themselves. Also it limited where families could send their disturbed children or other members.

Now, unless you're a danger to society, mentally ill people can get firearms and comitt mass murder because they can commit carnage playing violent video games. Then they go out into society and do the same thing.

I don't expect this bill to pass.

Anonymous said...

After what the FBI Director stated about Hillary Clinton's crimes, only those who belong in a psychiatric hospital would vote for her.

Anonymous said...

Reagan gutted the protections for the mentally ill and flooded the streets with them by closing down hospitals and institutions.

The Gipper equated being mentally ill with communism. He also knew the vast majority would vote Republican if freed.

It seems like some of them post here on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

You started out with a great article on mental illness and then turned it into something for your readers to make nasty jokes about. Anyone whom has had a family member with any form of mental illness knows what a nightmare they lived through and suffered with for years and yes maybe even decades. Our great President "Ronald Reagan" was the one who closed the mental institutions and in reality ended most individuals chances for ever getting meaningful treatment which could result in making that person a responsible member of our society. Instead, thanks to President Reagan, these people who were in these institutions ended up on the streets and in our prisons. You do so much good on your blog. Keep up the good work.

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

Bernie, you may not agree with me on this one, but here's my take. Mental Health is indeed an issue in gun violence. However, it is usually for different reasons than the media focus on "mass shootings." The reality is that "more than 60 percent of people in this country who die from gun deaths die by suicide" (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/09/upshot/gun-deaths-are-mostly-suicides.html?_r=0). That is a mental health issue. Thus, I agree this bill may help. As to someone's comment about the closing of ASH and other state facilities, I do believe there is some connection to homelessness, and related non-lethal crimes, but the stats since the early 90s when they were closing to now show a marked decline in overall gun deaths in America so a stretch to link causation.

If you look at the stats, the number of homicides by guns has decreased markedly since the early 90s. From other readings, there are a number of reasons for the overall (not just gun violence) decrease in crime stats. My point here, though, is that the media focus that mass shootings and gun violence in general (just read the papers the past week between Allentown and Easton) must be linked to either mental health or the need for yet more gun laws is wrong. Laws on either just make you feel like you're "doing something about the issue." Why can't we just admit first and foremost that there are bad people in the world; there is evil in the world; there is free will in the world. What has been the top story in the Express, but the repeat offender who got his hand chopped off in Northampton. From "Cain and Abel" onward, it is the person who commits the crime, not the instrument they use.

Anonymous said...

Anyone butt listed above?
RE:publican redd no party affiliation

Anonymous said...

There is a great mental health facility that is waiting to be used again, Allentown State Hospital.... Put the mentally challenged in there before they commit crimes and flood the prison populations

Anonymous said...

That voted on it, it passed the house

Anonymous said...

And what about George W Bush and his criminal neglect on Iraq, starting with empowering ISIL???

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Many of the mental health issues we have today came about because the Progressives closed the Asylums, like the Allentown State Hospital. Then the mentally ill were forced out into society to fend for themselves. Also it limited where families could send their disturbed children or other members."

It was not "progressives" who shut down the state hospitals. It was Ed Rendell, and I'm not sure what he is. I do believe that this added to our petty crime, but I don't know that.

Anonymous said...

@11:30 ISIS started under Obama.

Anonymous said...

@11:52 Fast Eddie is a Democrat that supports Obama and Clinton. That alone qualifies him as a Progressive, especially with the stink of corruption that follows him everywhere he goes. Just like Hillary Clinton.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe he is a crony capitalist, not a progressive.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps folks who actually believe what a bunch of "unbiased" academics publish about conservatives/liberals are the ones who ought to be in a loony bin.

This is typical of the quality of their work.


(Gawd that robot checker is awful today.)

Anonymous said...

before fast eddy's decree there was the building of the reddroof inns down in the back by the train yard?!($ Just like and similar too butt not the same as the fed Ed FedEx airport deal that involves the rockafellar flippflopp and fly?!)$
Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap?
Only in the cul de sac between here and there halfway to the same old shitstew served publicly on the regular media sized?!)$
RE:publican redd no party affiliation

Anonymous said...

@12:26- ISIL was created in the 1990's, originally known as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...12:41...

Wow! You found one article, without a single reference, to challenge the dozens already published that support my link!

That's not very 'academic' of you, but that's no surprise, because science knows something else about conservatives, they're stupid!


Anonymous said...

I suppose 1:53 thinks Retraction Watch is a vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

I can see why he links only to real old articles, since even the publishing community is starting to get wise to this crap, both specifically:


and in general...


Of course, AlterNet.org and Scientific American could also be part of the vRWC.

Anonymous said...

During Congressional testimony today, FBI Director James Comey stated that the FBI’s interview with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not under oath or recorded.

In other words, she could lie her ass off and not worry about anything like the little people do when being questioned about a crime.

Clearly, the Fix Was In. It's quite clear, to the Progressives, the White House is theirs, and no one is going to take it from them, no matter how much they have to lie or sell our country down the drain to keep it.

I know this will be deleted shortly, but for the short time it's visible, it's worth it just to show the hypocrisy of the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

@2:58 In other words, Hillary Clinton got off for being stupid and incompetent.

Just what we need for a President, stupidity and incompetence. Just like Obama

Anonymous said...

2:47 thinks opinion pieces are 'academic'.

He is clearly a product of the education system that allows a Trump candidacy to happen.

Anonymous said...

I have redd the article again and judging from most posters commitments locally home school home rule many public as well as affiliations thereof are in for a 302ing into the systems that have become mental illness facilities by there designs?!)$

Also in your closing argument you forgot to mention those strangely obsessed with shit slinging and the reprehensible spinkter propagated as a positive of its surroundings by the relocated negosheated toilet brigade bringing presidential shitslinging to the forefront of a national need issue that most fit into categorized?!)$

By the way great topic that could be an important presidential debate, because of the predatory predictors taking advantage of this disadvantaged due to no choice of there own, and than there are the family members that have and always should have had help because of?!)$
RE:publican redd no party affiliation

Anonymous said...


I said publishers. But anyway, those "opinion" pieces are about critiques made by academics. I guess your student loans didn't cover remedial reading classes.

I know you think you're a lot smarter than everyone else, but really now.

Anonymous said...

Well, he or she is clearly much smarter than you are if you challenge academic studies with unsupported 'critiques', but it's not likely you will be able to understand how stupid that is.

Either way, please keep arguing, it's great comedy.

Anonymous said...

5:14 am
Not only does it make for good comedy and makes for good entertainment it is also therapeutic reading to exercise a mans main mussel?!)$
The democratical diversionary dysfunctional tools hard at work stirring the political pot o fermenting blue juice reddying to eat crow?!($
RE:publican redd no party affilliation