FHR speaks to the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut

Published 12/19/2012

At FHR, we recognize the heartache that the Newtown, Connecticut, community, as well as the nation, is experiencing during this difficult time. As the public attempts to comprehend why Adam Lanza or anyone would have committed such a dreadful act, one message we must conclude is that it is imperative that a national discussion on mental health occurs. Executive leaders at FHR stand resolute on the importance of mental health becoming a priority in our communities and nation.

“Are we ready to invest in mental health services that offer the only real hope of preventing such events from recurring, by treating the individual before symptoms become threatening to self or others? The answer is no, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) notwithstanding. In the past decade, our nation has slashed mental health funding by billions of dollars. Effective programs have been eliminated and rates of reimbursement reduced. The ACA will result in more people with insurance, but coverage for mental health is still far more limiting than for physical health. If ever there was a time to appeal to our state and federal lawmakers to support increased funding for mental health services, it is now. Let’s make Newtown the last town in America to have to cope with the loss of its neighbors in such a horrific way.” – Joe Dziobek, FHR President/CEO

“It is of fundamental importance to continue to educate our communities on what to look for, how to reach out for help, and to understand that they are not alone. Our focus must shift to how parents, teachers, and community members can identify early signs and symptoms of behavioral issues (i.e., socially withdrawn, lack of empathy towards others, latent violence, etc.)” – Pamela Daisey, LPCMH, Interim COO/Director of Clinical Services

“With the focus in the media on stricter gun legislation, school security, and the banning of violent video games, mental health has taken a backseat, when it should be the primary point of discussion. Now more than ever, it is vital that a meaningful national conversation on mental health takes place. A solution must be found that will not violate rights, but will effectively identify and deliver services to those in need in order to protect the general public. As a nation, we must reduce the stigma and stereotyping behind mental health, and make the public aware of community resources that are available.” – Kristen Guilfoyle, Rhode Island Regional Director

During this time of tragedy, FHR encourages individuals to discuss their emotional state with loved ones, friends, and if needed, mental health professionals.

As a major nonprofit agency providing both clinical and support services to persons recovering from mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and other life challenges, FHR currently serves individuals in 74 programs in the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. In addition to these programs, the following resources can be located on FHR’s webpage, and remain available to those in need:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a 24-hour toll-free crisis line, directing callers to local crisis centers that can advise where to seek immediate help in an area.
  • Child-Help USA: 1-800-422-4453, a crisis hotline staffed by mental health professionals offering treatment referrals and assisting both children and adult supervisors of abuse.
  • Mental Health Screening, provided by Mental Health America (MHA), a three-minute screening tool and progress monitor for mental illness.
  • A list of national resources, as well as resources in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.