FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
In the wake of the horrific deadly mass shootings at Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Aurora, Colorado and Tucson, Arizona to name a few, there have been a flurry of recent editorial opinions expressed locally. Published in the Bakersfield Californian was “Laura’s Law is a good place to start” (Our View, December 30). This was followed by the opinions published in the Bakersfield Californian of Dr. James Waterman, Kern County Mental Health Director, “Intensive outpatient care is far superior to involuntary care” (Community Voices, January 8) and Dr. Brik McDill, PhD, “The other elephant in the room: violent video games” (Forum, January 9). New Jersey Governor Chris Christie emphasized on the NBC’s Today Show (January 9) endorsed the national conversation should focus on mental illness and substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation, the effects of video violence not gun control.
Our concern is that the national political leadership and lobbyists and media are emotionally reacting with a push on gun violence and gun control to serve a national political agenda. We too believe with Governor Chris Christie that this news coverage and political attention is a tragic distraction to the reality of focusing on the more complicated and misunderstood underlying issue of serious (untreated) mental illness and its involvement in these tragic American events.
The Mental Health Collaborative of Kern County invites you and any friends, family, or colleagues to join us on January 16, 2013 at 4 pm at 3300 Truxtun, West Training Room, to discuss these critical issues and focus our local (non-partisan) efforts on identifying solutions. You have a voice, let’s dialogue and find practical, cost effective ways to address the “madness” and impact the tragic and unnecessary violence!
For more information and media interviews, contact Fawn Dessy, Advocate and Co-Founder of the Mental Health Collaborative of Kern County (661) 322-3863
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