Elected officials: 13-year-old's fatal overdose spotlights need for more mental health resources
Hartford's mayor, Gov. Ned Lamont and other elected officials held a news conference Tuesday calling for stronger mental health resources after a 13-year-old fatally overdosed on fentanyl last week.
Elected officials say the incident spotlights the need for mental health care to prevent drug abuse.
The impact of the pandemic, the mental health of teenagers and the explosion of opioid abuse are all issues families and schools are dealing with.
Officials say the goal is to intervene before problems become life threatening, and that starts with communication and fighting the stigma of seeking treatment.
"We recognize the mental health challenges that our students are facing," said state Rep. Kathleen McCarthy. "The pandemic has exacerbated trauma and the isolation of our students."
"I'm not sure we're doing ourselves as a society any good by focusing so much on Narcan alone and missing the opportunity to really focus on the prevention efforts, the awareness efforts," said Mayor Luke Bronin.
Bronin points out that the first responders who tried to help the 13-year-old did have Narcan with them but did not initially suspect an opioid overdose because he was so young.