HARTFORD - State Representative Terrie Wood (R-141) co-chaired the Mental Health Working Group earlier today. She joined Democratic and Republican legislative leaders along with municipal leaders and officials, professionals and the public from around the state as the Mental Health Working Group of the Bipartisan Task Force held informational and public hearings to address matters relating to the mental health public delivery system, private delivery system and the court system.
The Mental Health Working Group is one of three sub committees of the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention & Children's Safety that was formed earlier this month to address key mental health issues as a result of the tragedy in Newtown.
The informational hearing included testimony from mental health professionals, school administrators, as well as municipal officials and leaders who spoke on a broad range of topics including: the availability of mental health resources and crisis intervention in schools, the public delivery system; the private delivery system; the court system; mental health parity; early identification; prevention and follow-up; gaps in coverage; duty to report; and involuntary outpatient treatment.
During the public hearing, parents, various mental health professionals, and members of the community expressed their comments and concerns regarding the mental health system. One of the most moving testimonies provided was from Nelba Marquez-Greene, mother of Sandy Hook victim, Ana Marquez-Greene. Marquez-Greene’s sister spoke on her behalf in the form of a written testimony. Marquez-Greene is not only a grieving mother, but she is also a program coordinator for the Family Therapy Institute at Klingberg Family Centers and Central Connecticut State University adjunct faculty. Rep. Wood called her courage “exemplary.” Wood remarked “We are here for all of you.” She also requested that she receive a copy of Marquez-Greene’s testimony.
"We heard very good information today. I’m grateful to all who came to share their thoughts and experience. It is up to us now to come up with some legislation that will provide a productive and specific solution to the problem of mental health challenges in our state." said Wood.
Tomorrow, the full Bipartisan Task Force will meet at Newtown High School in Newtown at 6:00 p.m.