Updated: Friday, 21 Dec 2012, 6:25 PM EST
Published : Friday, 21 Dec 2012, 6:25 PM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- One of the many calls for action after 26 lives were taken at Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday is changing how the state and the nation handles mental health.
It's a tough issue to tackle even before we start talking about money so is the state ready to handle it?
Not long after the horrors of Adam Lanza's rampage were revealed, calls for a review of mental health policies echoed across the state and country.
"It's important to know that the non-profit sector and mental health agencies are under stress," David Burnett said.
Burnett is CEO of Norwich's "Reliance House," a non-profit organization helping those with mental illness. He's been flat-funded by the state for five years while the demand for services has grown. To provide help requires cash and changes in law.
"We may or may not have been able to identify this young man, from Newtown, but even if we do identify him, we live in a society that values personal liberties, and not been able to impose any kinds of support. If we do impose those kinds of support, it costs money," Burnett said.
Money, something the state is sorely lacking. There's concern among some working in state hospital's about the impact on services, including mental health, after close to 100 million dollars in cuts. The Governor's office says hospitals are still getting 130 million more this year than just two years ago.
"Jamie these were babies," Senator Terry Gerratana said.
Money to program deficiencies will be found, says state Senator Terry Gerratana, chair of the Public Health Committee. She plans to introduce a bill that will help children find the proper support system for mental health care.
"Very often, a pediatrician will see a child in the office and has no where to refer that child so therefore that childs ends up in the emergency room," Sen. Gerratana said.
It's easy to ask "what if?" but Dave Burnett says if we don't ask questions on how to better treat mental illness, tragedy will continue.
"Is this a turning point," News 8's Jamie Muro asked.
"I don't know. One might hope," Burnett said.
"Some good has to come out of some bad," News 8's Muro said.
"If good doesn't come out of this, we have all failed those children terribly," Burnett said.