In the aftermath of the recent Aurora Theater shootings and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Colorado’s Governor is asking for $18.5 Million dollars to expand mental health care in Colorado. Colorado has been the scene of two major mass shootings in the US, the Columbine shootings and the Aurora Theater shootings, which has prompted Hickenlooper to do something about these tragedies to prevent further shootings.
Although Hickenlooper and health officials have been reviewing and planning a new proposal of the state’s mental health care services since the Aurora Theater shootings in July, the recent shootings in Connecticut has moved his plan forward favorably. Fate has made this discussion timely.
Hickenlooper has proposed spending $18.5 Million dollars to support his increased measures in mental health care services. In the proposal to the state’s capitol, approximately $10 Million will fund a new statewide crisis hotline and five 24-hour walk-in crisis centers. Another $2 Million is proposed to expand hospital capacity for those deemed incompetent to stand trial. Today, mentally ill patients find themselves winding up in emergency rooms or jail, both of which is very costly.
Another important feature of the proposal will be to set up a real-time data transfer of mental health determinations from the state of Colorado to the FBI. These determinations are made by a judge who classifies an individual as mentally unfit to own a gun under federal law. Currently, the state sends this information to the FBI just twice a year via CD-ROM.
References: Channel 9 News Denver