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Mid Plains works to improve mental healthcare
As a heartbroken Newtown, Connecticut saw the funeral of four more loved ones today, many people are calling for better mental healthcare.
The Mid-Plains Center for Behavioral Healthcare Services in Grand Island has been actively improving services over the past few months.
News 5 spoke with the Mid-Plains CEO Wednesday about mental healthcare in our country and had an in-depth discussion with the CEO and President Corrie Edwards.
She tells me they've been working on expanding hours and services since she started this fall. The center is trying to assist as many people as possible.
"We want to make sure that clients are stable, productive and living the best lives that they can," said Edwards.
With each mass shooting our society cries out for action. But, we've yet to see any major mental healthcare reform.
Edwards of Mid-Plains says mental healthcare needs are going unmet in our country.
"The problem is several layers deep."
She cites a negative stigma and major funding gaps as the biggest setbacks.
"Whether it's the inability to pay, whether it's insurance declining the service, whether it's Medicaid not authorizing the service."
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is affecting more than just Newtown. Our entire country is mourning the loss of 26 innocent lives.
"The fact that these were kindergarten age children and the timing right before Christmas was just devastating. I mean this was horrific."
It's a pain many people say could have been prevented.
"Either he had not been diagnosed for some mental health problems, obviously he was not stable as an individual and if he had been diagnosed, then there was something that was awry with his treatment."
A change in attitude toward mental illness is an important step.
Edwards says the whole country could benefit from an improved mental healthcare system.
"There are significant barriers to getting mental healthcare, which is very different than barriers to getting healthcare."
Wednesday, the American College of Emergency Physicians announced a call for better mental health resources.
The group is also urging for ban on the sale of assault weapons.
They say emergency physicians see the consequences of gun violence everyday.
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