Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sen. Stabenow: Navy Yard Shooting Is ‘Call To Action’ On Mental Health

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is pictured in November 2012. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is pictured in November 2012. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

Family members of victims of recent mass shootings and their supporters are advocating for gun control on Capitol Hill today.

Their visit was previously scheduled to mark congressional inaction on gun control, nine months after the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. But their visit is attracting more attention after the deadly Navy Yard shooting this week.

President Obama is calling on lawmakers to toughen gun purchase background checks.

For us in policymaking roles, this is a call to action.

– Sen. Debbie Stabenow

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says there aren’t enough votes in the Senate to pass that, and he’s leaving the door open to a narrower bill focused on improving mental health services.

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) says there is a general awareness and agreement in Congress that mental health services are lacking.

“For us in policymaking roles, this is a call to action,” Senator Debbie Stabenow said of the Washington Navy Yard shooting.

Aaron Alexis, the Washington Navy Yard shooter, reportedly suffered from paranoia, sleeplessness and hallucinations. He had called Rhode Island police about a month ago, saying he was being followed and that he was hearing voices.

Stabenow has introduced the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which would provide the mechanisms for emergency 24-hour psychiatric services, among other provisions to improve access to mental health care.

“What we need is a willingness to act,” Stabenow said. “This is an unfortunate crisis that is occurring over and over and over again.”

Stabenow says providing for emergency psychiatric care at community health programs would cost “less than $2.8 billion” over ten years.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 27 26 Comments

Economist: NAFTA Benefits Economy Despite Job Losses

Gordon Hanson explains his research on the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement and why he still supports it.

April 26 4 Comments

How A City With 446 Bridges Deals With Infrastructure

Pittsburgh has more bridges than even Venice, Italy, but at least 20 are now labeled "structurally deficient."

April 26 2 Comments

Trump's State Chair Woos Unbound Delegates In Pennsylvania

The state has one of the most unique methods of assigning delegates. The GOP winner gets only 17 of 71 delegates.

April 25 26 Comments

Congressman Charlie Dent Throws Support Behind John Kasich

The Pennsylvania Republican argues that the Ohio governor is the only GOP candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton.