U.S. Rep. McSally Holds Mental Health Roundtable in Tucson
Over 30 Local Stakeholders Come Together to Find Solutions
TUCSON – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today held a roundtable discussion with local stakeholders to discuss the most pressing mental health issues facing Southern Arizona and the nation. Over 30 representatives from area non-profits, hospitals, mental health and veterans organizations, and law enforcement participated.
“Hearing from those in our community with the knowledge, experience, and local insights was immensely helpful,” said Rep. McSally. “Some of the issues brought up included reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, placing a greater attention on early intervention and prevention, and increasing treatment access in rural areas. A lot of good ideas and action items came out of the discussion, I look forward to continue working with today’s participants to ultimately improve how our community treats and responds to mental illness.”
Watch KGUN's coverage of the roundtable below.
“I want to sincerely thank Congresswoman McSally for taking the time to meet with us today. Her dedication and commitment to the issues of mental illness and substance abuse, issues which are affecting so many Americans, should be recognized and commended,” said Neal Cash, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Partners, Inc. “Today, was a tremendous opportunity to gather a cross-section of leaders in behavioral health, law-enforcement, corrections, Veterans services, and peer and family services from Tucson and Southern Arizona to share thoughts and ideas. And, together, we proposed solutions. The model that the Congresswoman brought to the table is something we can build upon, fostering collaboration and continued community problem-solving.”
“The roundtable had everyone represented from treatment providers to law enforcement, concerned family and family of people suffering with mental illness. So it was very helpful that all stakeholders were involved,” said Tucson Police Department Central Investigations Division Captain Paul Sayre. “Particularly for law enforcement, we are constantly seeking treatment alternatives over incarceration, so roundtables like today’s help us explore more options that are available for mental illness and keeping communities safe.”
“It was helpful for Rep. McSally to host this roundtable to hear some of our challenges in the arena of mental health,” said Susie Huhn, CEO of Casa de los Niño’s. “One thing we especially advocate for is a more collaborative system approach to serving children that includes education, child welfare, behavioral health, juvenal justice, and other elements. Walking out the door, we had solutions that she could take back with her to Washington, and I’m hopeful we can build upon those going forward.”
“The mental health round table was a wonderful opportunity to partner with other community providers and services to explore opportunities to enhance mental health care for Veterans in southern Arizona,” said Dr. Timothy Mueller, Chief of Mental Health Service, at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.
More photos can be viewed HERE.
Today’s roundtable builds upon Rep. McSally’s efforts to address mental illness. In 2015, she introduced bipartisan legislation to further prevent those with mental illness from obtaining firearms and help communities better identify and treat mental illness. Read more about that bill and KGUN’s coverage of the roundtable HERE.