Today: Jun 17, 2024

State Senator Joseph Crisco Jr. comes to Southern to address gun violence

Josh FalconeGeneral Assignment Reporter

State Senator Joseph J. Crisco Jr. of the 17th Senatorial district was in the Michael J. Adanti Theater Monday afternoon.

The senator was there discussing gun violence prevention and children’s safety issues in regards to mental health.

Sen. Crisco sits on the mental health screening and services sub group of the newly created Bipartisan Legislative task force.

The task force was created in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and is made up of the mental health screening, as well as gun violence prevention, and school security evaluations.

“Because of the tragedy in Newtown,” Sen. Crisco said, “there is a renewed urgency in the treatment and discussion of mental health, gun violence, and of course school safety, here in Connecticut.”

Crisco said he is eager to begin the discussion dealing with mental health evaluations and the access to treatment in Connecticut. Crisco has been advocating for equal attention in regards to services and insurance coverage between mental health and conventional health care.

Crisco met in Newtown High School last week, he said. The group of government officials heard testimony from parents of Newtown parents, including many of the parents of shooting victims, on their feelings on the three aspects of the Legislative task force.

Crisco said he is frustrated by the lack of mental health screenings, and gun control in the state, and is looking forward to make changes to combat these issues in Connecticut.

“We want to reduce gun violence in Connecticut,” Sen. Crisco said. “And increase content on health care especially mental health.”

Sen. Crisco said that 1 in 5 people suffer some sort of mental health issue, and that 1 in 20 people suffer serious mental health issues.

“There are serious gaps in mental health in Connecticut, whatever we do in Connecticut we can’t impact federal plans,” Sen. Crisco said.

Crisco went on to say that there are gaps in private coverage in regards to mental health, especially with child psychology, school based plans, young adult mental health.

“There are not enough programs,” Sen. Crisco said.

Crisco said he believes that the legislative task force will hopefully fix this.

“We have so much on our plate when it comes to mental health,” Sen. Crisco said. “But we are working on solutions to the mental health issue.”

Student Paul Fabula, who said he has been working in he mental health field for the past 10 years, said he believes that the pharmaceutical companies are still some what to blame for some of the mental health issues that plague Connecticut.

“I’ve seen doctors push the big pharmaceutical companies, like Pfizer, on to patients rather than a generic brand that has less severe side effects,” Fabula said.

In addition Sen. Crisco said he feels the social stigma of mental health has to be removed to further corrective action with mental health.

Sen. Crisco also discussed his beliefs on correcting gun violence and the violent culture Connecticut, and the United States currently has.

“The video games and movies have become more violent,” he said. “Young people see this and become desensitized to it.”

The gun violence and school safety issues are something Sen. Crisco said the capital in Hartford is pushing hard to resolve quickly.

The three sub-committees will each come up with their own solution to the issues then give it to the main government to decide the correct actions to resolve the issue of gun violence, mental health, and school safety.

Sen. Crisco said that the process to improve the three issues might take some time but he feels that the State of Connecticut will make the changes needed.

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