Skip to main content
March 05

After Newtown: A National Conversation on Violence and Severe Mental Illness


As part of the ongoing review by the House Energy and Commerce Committee into mental health issues raised by the Newtown tragedy, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and ranking member Diana DeGette (D-CO) announced that the subcommittee has scheduled a forum with leading national experts on March 5, 2013, to explore issues related to severe mental illness and violence.

Opening Statement of Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Tim Murphy

Opening Statement of Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton

Invited Panelists

  • Thomas Insel, M.D., Director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Harold Koplewicz, M.D., President, Child Mind Institute
  • E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., Founder, Treatment Advocacy Center
  • Michael Welner, M.D., Founder and Chairman, The Forensic Panel
  • Pete Earley, Writer, parent of a son with mental illness
  • Pat Milam, parent of a son with mental illness
  • Liza Long, parent of a son with a mental disorder
  • Michael Fitzpatrick, MSW, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness

Subcommittee Chairman Murphy and Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) requested that each panelist consider the following questions, which will be used as a discussion guide at the forum:

  1. In what ways is mental illness more – or less – treatable than other serious medical conditions?
  2. What are the greatest obstacles to seeking treatment for individuals suffering from mental illness and their families?
  3. Among individuals with untreated and severe mental illness, when, if at all, is violence – directed at the self or others – most likely?
  4. What is the record of federal, state, and local programs geared towards improving health outcomes among individuals with severe mental illness?
  5. What are the most effective federal, state, and local programs for prevention and early detection of severe mental illness in children and young adults?
  6. How can federal programs be improved to reduce barriers to access and improve outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness?