Lanza Report Spurs Mental Health Discussion

By:  Amanda Raus
NBC Connecticut

Last week's report detailing the mental health history of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza has spurred officials to demand that more must be done to reform the state's mental health system.

“The Lanza report is damning in the sense that it tells us what we already knew that our mental health system is totally siloed where you have school psychologists not communicating with primary care, not communicating with our community mental health system,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy.

Murphy held his fourth round table discussion on the mental health system at the Clifford Beers Clinic in New Haven and used the Lanza report to start the conversation.

Clifford Beers Executive Director Dr. Alice Forrester explained that the report highlighted many wrongs in the system.

“Our system is fragmented and broken, so that someone who is seeking services can go out and get a list of services, maybe that they should have, but they're really on their own to find them,” said Forrester.

She said she agrees that the system must be reformed.

“Some of the folks that are not being served currently are the folks in the middle class, who have private insurance or who have no insurance,” said Forrester.

Many also argue that the federal government must step in to support those with mental health challenges.

“Resources are absolutely critical. We are shortchanging, particularly our children, and all men and women who are suffering from the profoundly hurtful and harmful, disabling effects of mental health,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Murphy plans to bring a reform bill to Washington during the next session. He said he'll be using the round table information to draft the bill and hopes it will receive bipartisan support.