Dec. 14, 2013 will mark the first anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn where 20 children and six adults were killed. Along with other tragedies, it has resulted in profound examination of the nation’s mental health system.
Whenever such tragedies occur, all Americans are deeply affected. That includes the approximately 60 million adults who live with mental illness. Their reaction and that of their families is much like that of everyone else: feelings of anger and anguish. Most people living with mental illness are not violent, but when violence is a risk, we all want a system that can prevent future tragedies—without stigma or discrimination.
Over the past year, NAMI has engaged in advocacy and worked with news media to focus on a broad range of issues that flowed from the Newtown tragedy. In observance of the first anniversary, this special section of the NAMI.org website is offered to policymakers, news media and the general public as a source for revisiting or more closely examining such issues. It also offers a measurement of progress made in honoring the memories of those whose lives were lost and directions for the future.
Some progress has been made since the Newtown tragedy, but most issues are still awaiting vigorous action.
Mental illness affects everyone and families are uniquely impacted. Access to family education and support must be part of the response to the Newtown tradgey.
On June 3, the White House Conference on Mental Health launched a national dialogue on mental illness, sparking an array of activities building local agendas for action.
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