Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Richard Bonnie Give Insight into Mental Health and Gun Policy

In a recent New York Times article, Professor Richard J. Bonnie, a professor in public policy in UVa's School of Law offered insight into the current dialog surrounding mental health and it's connection to gun control policies. “Anytime you have one of these tragic cases like Newtown, it’s going to expose deficiencies in the mental health system, and provide some opportunity for reform. But you have to be very careful not to overreact.” Bonnie led a state commission that overhauled policies after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings that left 33 people dead. The vast majority of individuals with mental health conditions are not considered a threat and it is challenging to create a system that identifies those who are a threat and provides that information to those who need it without penalizing those who are not a threat. For more reading, see Health Affairs publication of an article written by Bonnie: "Mental Health System Transformation After the Virginia Tech Tragedy."

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