Connecticut shooting leads lawmakers to study mental health

Published by Tracie Mauriello on .

One of Rep. Tim Murphy’s first initiatives as a new House subcommittee chairman is an examination of mental health issues raised by the slaughter of 20 first-graders and six adults in Newtown, Conn. 

Mr. Murphy announced the initiative today, one month after gunman Adam Lanza opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Mr. Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, is chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The subcommittee expects to hear from leading experts on mental health.

“We will seek out any and all expert perspectives to gain a better understanding and learn how we can do better,” said Mr. Murphy, who worked as a child psychologist before his election to Congress.

“For too long, mental illness has been a topic saved for the shadows, often going unmentioned,” he said. “Newtown serves to inspire thoughtful examination on mental health policies.”

Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said the Newtown shooting pushed mental health to the forefront and provides an opportunity for construction discussion on a topic that has often been ignored.

“While we do not know what caused the tragic events in Newtown to unfolded, it has generated a national debate on guns, violence, cultural factors and mental illness,” he said. “We must seek to gain a better understanding of societal factors, potential causes, and their overall impact upon outbreaks of violence.”

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