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We need to expand mental health care

I am mystified at the reaction by so many that the lack of gun control is the problem every time a tragic incident involves the killing of innocent people. The resolution to these problems is not gun control. The root cause of these killings is generally mental health issues.

If President Obama wants to raise taxes, then let the administration invest in reopening mental health facilities and have Obamacare fund mental health programs. Ultimately, other costs would go down. We have closed two facilities right here in Erie County in the last decade. People, who years ago were confined to institutions, are now free to come and go and no one is paying attention until it is too late.

If school budgets provided enough money for appropriate identification and counseling, some of these individuals could be helped or hospitalized before it goes so far that innocent lives are needlessly lost. It does not take a professional to recognize unusual behavior. I am sure that experienced teachers see this every day. I am not familiar with the laws protecting students from possibly being recommended for counseling, but even as a lay person, I think I have witnessed many children who show signs of instability due to many unfortunate experiences in early childhood or their high school years. I cannot believe that I am the only one who feels this way.

Joni Williams

Williamsville