MN Lawmakers Address Mental Health Legislation

By KBJR News 1

February 1, 2013 Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 5:50 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - It's not just gun control legislation up for discussion in the wake of recent shootings across the nation.

Minnesota Lawmakers are also looking to address mental illness before it becomes a problem.

State Senator Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato) says her bill will give parents and schools tools to address health deterioration before it turns to violence.

The Senator introduced the legislation Friday alongside the Executive Director of Minnesota's National Association of Mental Illness, Sue Abderholden.

The Senator says the state needs to react to the violence we've experienced, including a workplace shooting last year in Minneapolis and the Newtown school massacre.

The legislation aims to invest in school-linked mental health services, training for mental health professionals on early psychosis and intensive treatments and support for families with adolescents and young adults.

"This bill is an attempt to in a variety of ways provide early intervention and early supports for families and children who are beginning to have some of their first symptoms of mental illness recognized and then have an intervention system be implemented that's based on solid evidence that if you do this set of interventions you're able and more likely to decrease the progression of more serious forms of this illness," the Senator said.

The most recent statistics from the Minnesota Department of Health show an estimated 145,000 youth ages 9 to 17 have a diagnosable disorder.

Kevin Jacobsen
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