Congressman Talks About Dealing With Mental Illness
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – Twenty-four people were injured in a stabbing at Franklin Regional High School yesterday, 21 of those were students. A 16-year-old is accused of bringing two kitchen knifes into the school, leaving many still hospitalized, some in critical condition.
Neighbors are in shock, and the suspect’s lawyer describes him as a “nice young man who has never been in trouble before.”
Congressman Tim Murphy joined the KDKA Afternoon News today to talk not only about legislation that can be pushed to help end violence, but how those affected can deal with the situation. His background in psychology and counseling bring unique perspective to legislation and situations like the stabbing.
“I introduced a bill called the Healthy Families and Mental Health Crisis Act this past December, at that time it had just a couple co-sponsors, as of today we are at, I think, 70 some co -sponsors, and members are coming up to me everyday saying I want to know more about this we need to do something about dealing with mental illness,” Murphy said.
The bill on a local level would create incentives for hospitals to have more psychiatric beds, it will also say Medicaid will help pay for psychiatric consultations, provide more training for police officers, more training in schools and it will help fund brain research to learn more about mental illness.
Congressman Murphy said he didn’t want to diagnose the suspect with a mental illness, but there still is something that parents can take away from this.
“It is a message for all parents, stay in close touch with your kids, find out what is on their mind, don’t ignore them. If you see changes in their behavior whether they suddenly become more quiet or sullen or angry or agitated, sleep problems, it’s time to really ask questions and really stay in touch with them to see if their is change,” Murphy said.
You can hear the whole interview with Congressman Murphy here:
You can also listen to the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.