Looking at DeWine’s mental health proposals to battle gun violence

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor DeWine laid out a 17 point proposal in response to the “Do Something” chants he heard Sunday night after the Dayton mass shooting.

Included in those 17 proposals, there was a huge push for access to mental health services across the state.

It’s something that Columbus Public Health is already doing through its CARE Coalition.

“We have a serious mental health crisis among many of our children,” said DeWine.

He believes early intervention to mental health is part of the solution that could help prevent tragedies like this week’s mass shooting in Dayton.

The governor points to signs the shooter, Connor Betts, exhibited while in high school.

“The assailant, while in high school, clearly exhibited anti-social behavior that should have alerted anyone who knew about them that there was a problem,” DeWine said.

It’s why DeWine wants to make sure children receive the help they need when dealing with the hidden dangers of trauma.

This is something the CARE Coalition has been doing for two years.

“I think it’s great that our leaders are recognizing the importance of mental health,” said Marian Stuckey who is the Neighborhood Social Service coordinator for Columbus Public Health.

Stuckey said the program helps families and neighborhoods deal with tragedy, explaining how she has seen the positive effect it has on young kids.

“Recently we were working with some of the rec centers,” said Stuckey. “They had a lot of loss. There was a suicide loss, there was community violence. There were different things that were happening in the community. I saw from that experience just kids being able to open up and talk about things that they weren’t able to talk about in other spaces.”

She said if trauma is ignored, it is often a recipe for disaster.

“The classic post-traumatic stress syndrome symptoms which can include nightmares, hypervigilance which is you’re kind of looking over your shoulders all the time, always worried about what might happen,” Stuckey said.

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