Stabenow Turns Gun Debate Into Mental Health Bills

DETROIT (WWJ) Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow made a TV news appearance Friday morning to discuss the gun control debate — but it quickly turned into a mental health story.

What do the two have in common? Stabenow is pushing bills that she says polls show the vast majority of Americans — including the National Rifle Association — support. And that’s expanding access to mental health care.

“Someone who has a mental health condition is more likely to be a victim of crime than a perpetrator, but we do know if that you don’t get help at some point something could happen,” Stabenow said.

She added one-third of all people living with mood disorders do not receive treatment and fewer than half with severe mental disorders receive any treatment.

Stabenow said mental needs to be treated with the same intensity as physical health, adding 25 percent of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are experiencing some type of mental health condition.

“In the context of the gun debate, the one thing everyone has said is we need to increase community mental health services so we’re saying ‘Fine, OK, fine, let’s do that,” Stabenow said.

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