Lubbock Board of Health Secretary and Psychologist Dr. Brian Carr says lack of mental health services has been an issue since he started practicing in 1990. He says even though a lot of attention is on mental health care after the Sandy Hook tragedy, he doesn't expect any major changes.
"This is mental illness dressed in evil I suppose," said Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy.
"In the coming weeks Ill use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this," said President Obama at a vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Massacre.
Politicians across the nation are calling for a serious change in mental health care in this country.
"Politicians play lip service to this. We regret that we don't do more, and then we sit on our hands and do nothing," said Dr. Brian Carr.
Carr says mental health care in Texas is lacking in both resources and outreach. Of the over 800,000 people living with serious mental illness, only 1 in 5 is currently being treated.
"For example here in Lubbock, if I have a child under the age of 18 who presents for care, there are zero beds in this county that I can put them into the hospital," he said.
Carr says despite the national spotlight put on mental health care, he thinks economics will prevent real change.
"Sadly I don't really expect much to happen, I think that the federal government will say we don't have the money, lets the states do it, and the states also say we don't have the money let the counties do it, and the counties will say we don't have the money. And then the city will say we don't have the money. So apparently nobody has the money. And while we all lament and grieve, we still aren't touched enough by this to really take any adequate action," said Carr.
According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, Texas has been below the national average for mental health care spending for years. In 2006, Texas spent just 1.1% of total state spending on public services for mental health care.