Democratic candidate wants more funding for mental health

Democratic candidate wants more funding for mental health

Asked about the rash of mass shootings in the U.S. this year, congressional candidate Anthony Flaccavento said he wants the federal government to do a better job funding mental health programs. But he admits that addressing the broader problems of violence won’t be easy. Flaccavento, an Abingdon Democrat, is running for the 9th District U.S. House seat held by Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, who is seeking his fifth term. The district includes Southwest Virginia west of Roanoke. Flaccavento was asked his views about the rash of violence in the U.S. during a meeting with the Herald Courier editorial board, a day after a gunman killed five people at a Maryland newspaper. “We talk about the dangers of in any way curtailing the Second Amendment, yet we’ve been shrinking budgets for mental health treatment and — in rural areas in particular — it’s hard to find those services. I’m talking about an expanded capability in schools and the workplace, then also the community, so we have more trained mental health professionals,” the candidate said. Offering better mental health services goes hand in hand with better responses to domestic violence, which sometimes provides the kindling for deadlier outbursts, he said. “We need to pair better mental health treatment with better treatment for domestic violence,” Flaccavento said. “Right now, it is illegal to sell a gun to someone who has been convicted to domestic violence, but, in many places, if you’re a boyfriend stalking a girlfriend but you’re not in a legal sense […]

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