Local experts differ on mental health aspect of newly proposed gun legislation

Jeffrey Friedman, CEO of Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services in Hicksville, says it is good to open the conversation on mental health.

News 12 Staff

Jun 13, 2022, 9:34 PM

Updated 670 days ago

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Newly proposed national gun legislation would provide more funding for mental health services, something some local experts say is needed in society.
Jeffrey Friedman, CEO of Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services in Hicksville, says it is good to open the conversation on mental health while also emphasizing that not all people struggling with mental health are violent.
"We are struggling as a society with mental health," Friedman says. "Whether it is gun legislation or other legislation that comes down from Washington, it is important that we are addressing it."
Other experts like Colleen Merlo, CEO of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness, says more has to be done outside of mental health in terms of gun legislation.
Merlo says raising the age to buy a firearm would have a much greater impact in reducing gun violence
"People with mental health concerns are 4% of the violence that happens in our society," Merlo says. "So, we are focusing on 4% of people when we really need to be looking broader if we want to have an impact on gun safety."
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the bipartisan bill "a good first step to ending the persistent inaction to the gun violence epidemic."
President Joe Biden says there is no reason that the bill should not move quickly through the House and Senate.


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