A day after the most recent mass shooting in the United States – this time at Outdoor mall in Allen, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has blamed mental health issues for the shooting, as he has done for previous mass shootings in his state.
Abbott, a Republican, said in an interview that addressing mental health — not enforcing gun laws — could have prevented Saturday’s shooting, which left eight people dead and seven wounded before the suspect was shot by police. on”Fox News Sunday.”
Law enforcement sources told ABC that the suspected gunman died in 2011. He was in the US Army in 2008 but was “discharged due to mental health concerns”. Investigators discovered he had developed extreme right-wing ideology, including neo-Nazi sympathies, sources told the ABC.
“What we’ve seen across the United States in the last year or two…is an increase in the number of shootings in red states and blue states,” Abbott said on Sunday. “We’ve seen an increase in shootings in states with lax gun laws as well as states with very strict gun laws.”
This isn’t the first time Abbott has blamed the rising number of people with mental health issues for mass shootings. He also said he was behind him in May 2022. Uvalde elementary school shooting 21 people died.
Here’s what Texas has — and what it hasn’t — when it comes to mental health in the state.
Texas ranks last in the United States in terms of access to mental health services, including a lack of mental health services, high numbers of uninsured and inability to access a mental health professional due to cost. Latest report Nonprofit Mental Health America.
It’s not just adults who suffer, but teenagers too. The report found that 60 percent of youth with major depression had not received mental health treatment.
Also last year Abbott announced About $500 million will be transferred from state agencies to deploy the National Guard to the southern border as well as support border operations.
Of that money, $210.7 million comes from Texas Health and Human Services, which oversees public mental health programs. It is unclear if funding has been cut from mental health programs:
Not that nothing has been done to address mental health in Texas. In June 2022 Response to Uvalde shootingAbbott also ordered $5.8 million to expand access to Texas children’s health through telemedicine and $4.7 million to the Health and Human Services Commission.
However, the National Mental Health Alliance of Texas is working to get Republican offices to support HB 4713, which would provide integrated specialty care insurance coverage for people under the age of 26 who experience a first episode of psychosis, meaning delusions and hallucinations.
An amendment recently introduced by state Rep. Jeff Leach, whose district includes Allen — where the shooting took place — would make it an option for insurance companies to cover this care.
In a statement to ABC News, Texas NCAA Executive Director Greg Hansch expressed his displeasure with the amendment.
A no-vote would “leave important mental health legislation on the table that could help prevent further tragedies, to ensure that insurance pays for the gold standard for young people with primary mental health problems,” he said. All this happened two days after today’s shooting.
Abbott’s press secretary, Andrew Mahaleris, said in a statement to ABC News that the governor is “working diligently to fully support and expand mental health programs and services for Texans.”
“Throughout his time in office, Governor Abbott has worked closely with the Texas Legislature to pass more than $25 billion in bills to address mental and behavioral health issues and expand access to mental health services, including creating a matching grant program to help local communities address any unmet local mental health needs.” Those mental health assessment and treatment programs are already available in more than 3,500 schools when Governor Abbott passed and signed a bill in the 86th legislative session creating the Children’s Mental Health Coalition and the Children’s Mental Outreach Network to address urgent statewide mental health needs. , and we are working to make these programs available in every school in Texas.