President Obama said the federal government has to do something meaningful to prevent future shootings, like the recent massacre of 26 children and adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. Here is what the federal government can do to prevent violence related to mental illness:
1. Start demonstration projects of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (e.g.Kendra’s Law in New York, Laura’s Law in California) throughout the country.
2. Write exceptions into the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) so parents of mentally ill children can get access to medical records and receive information from their children’s doctors on what is wrong and what the children need.
3. End the Institutes for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion in Medicaid law.
4. Create a federal definition of serious mental illness, and require that the vast majority of mental-health funding go to it.
5. Eliminate the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA).
by D. J. Jaffe, National Review