- Dear Abby
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It is true that mental health services are lacking in the state - not because agencies are not good, but that there are not enough of them.
The advent of HMOs has also played havoc with providers ability to provide the necessary services for individuals with significant needs. No longer is the care of the individual in the hands of a clinical professional, but in the hands of a person sitting in an office.
I have been in the mental health field for a long time, long enough to be mostly retired. I have seen the state hospital in Norwich close and the patients put out with very little planning.
I don't know that more services would prevent future incidents like Sandy Hook, but it would not hurt. Services are needed for all ages from the very young to the elderly.
The state and federal governments need to invest funding and remove the barriers to treatment such as ridiculous reporting procedures that take time away from the clients.
There are many good agencies and professionals in the area. They need the support and assistance in order to better serve their clients and accept and treat new ones.