Experts: Help for mentally ill kids increasing since Sandy Hook shooting
Mental health experts said Wednesday that since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of mentally ill children getting help before they become violent.
In Stamford schools, an outside group now conducts comprehensive mental evaluations for students with behavioral issues. Family doctors can now also refer patients to therapists with one phone call, but insurance is still an obstacle.
"Though the federal parity laws are in place, it hasn't trickled down so much in terms of payment," says child psychologist Dr. Jessica Welt.
A new federal law signed on Tuesday aims to change that. The bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act expands access and affordability of care to people with mental health issues.
"It's going to force insurance companies to approve more treatments ordered by physicians and put more money into prevention, so we recognize the warning signs and treat it before it becomes serious," says Sen. Chris Murphy.