JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City) says the country needs to focus on mental health following mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
Meeting with public housing leaders Monday in Johnson City, Roe said mental health care must be more accessible.
“I think as a country we’re going to have to take a huge step back and say ‘how do we reconstruct our mental health capacity in this country?'” the congressman said. “Right now, its overwhelmed.”
But even if changes are made, Roe says treating mental health issues is something that often takes a lot of time.
“We talked about group homes today, whether its expanding inpatient facilities — and many of the mental health issues you can’t treat in 48 hours or 72 hours or a week,” Roe said. “It takes months and months or years and probably a lifetime worth of follow up and treatment.”
The congressman called gun violence a crisis in this country.
When asked if the Senate should end its recess and return to Washington to discuss consider gun violence legislation, as some lawmakers have called for, Roe said he see’s a problem with doing so.
“We’re not gonna fix it in the month of August,” the congressman said. “This is going to be a years process, but you don’t get there until you start, so I think absolutely if they need to do that, it would be fine.”