Challenges, Opportunities For Increasing Access To Mental Health Care | St. Louis Public Radio

Challenges, Opportunities For Increasing Access To Mental Health Care

Jan 17, 2013

Earlier this week, prompted by the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama announced a series of measures aimed at curbing gun violence.

Among the proposals is increasing access to mental health care.

All too often access to mental health care is scarce.  Sometimes, the only place people can get care is if they are arrested and charged with a crime.

“When you have your first onset of mental health illness you struggle to accept it and determine what it is,” said Jackie Lukitsch, Director of Advocacy for NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) - St. Louis.

Host Don Marsh talked with Lukitsch, Dr. Fred Rottnek, Medical Director for Corrections Medicine for St. Louis County and Associate Professor in Saint Louis University’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, and Michael Mancini, Associate Professor at Saint Louis University’s College of Public Health and Social Justice.

Dr. Rottnek recently wrote an opinion piece for the St. Louis Beacon about the lack of mental health safety net called, “I am Adam Lanza’s Doctor.”

Marsh addressed that opinion piece, among other topics, in a wide ranging discussion about how society can provide mental health care before people enter the justice system.

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