Press Release

Committee Announces Panelists for Bipartisan Mental Health Forum on March 5


“After Newtown: A National Conversation on Violence and Severe Mental Illness” to focus on mental health treatment and research into violence and severe mental illness

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations today announced the list of panelists invited to participate in its upcoming forum on mental health. The bipartisan forum, “After Newtown: A National Conversation on Violence and Severe Mental Illness,” will take place on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 10:15 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

“For too long, mental health and severe mental illness have often been topics overlooked and ignored in policy discussions, only raised following violent tragedies like in Newtown. We are working to change that,” said Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), who prior to serving in Congress was a practicing psychologist specializing in treating at-risk families and children exhibiting violent behavior. “This forum will give lawmakers and the public a unique opportunity to hear personal stories from parents who’ve struggled to get their children care before they hurt themselves or others. In better understanding the relationship between violence and mental illness, we can better equip families and communities like Newtown in preventing these tragedies.”

Invited Panelists

  • Thomas Insel, M.D., Director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Harold Koplewicz, M.D., President, Child Mind Institute
  • E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., Founder, Treatment Advocacy Center
  • Michael Welner, M.D., Founder and Chairman, The Forensic Panel
  • Pete Earley, Writer, parent of a son with mental illness
  • Pat Milam, parent of a son with mental illness
  • Liza Long, parent of a son with a mental disorder
  • Michael Fitzpatrick, MSW, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness

Subcommittee Chairman Murphy and Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) requested that each panelist consider the following questions, which will be used as a discussion guide at the forum:

  1. In what ways is mental illness more – or less – treatable than other serious medical conditions?
  2. What are the greatest obstacles to seeking treatment for individuals suffering from mental illness and their families?
  3. Among individuals with untreated and severe mental illness, when, if at all, is violence – directed at the self or others – most likely?
  4. What is the record of federal, state, and local programs geared towards improving health outcomes among individuals with severe mental illness?
  5. What are the most effective federal, state, and local programs for prevention and early detection of severe mental illness in children and young adults?
  6. How can federal programs be improved to reduce barriers to access and improve outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness?

More information about the forum will be available here.


Press Release