Mental Health Experts Say Proposed New York Gun Law May Hinder Therapy.

The AP (1/16, Ritter, Tanner) says that, according to mental health experts, New York’s proposed gun control law “might interfere with treatment of potentially dangerous people and even discourage them from seeking help.” The law requires healthcare providers to tell government authorities if they believe a patient may harm himself or others, a move that would spur the revocation of the patient’s gun permit and seizure of any guns. Dr. Steven Dubovsky, chairman of the psychiatry department at the University at Buffalo, described the new measure as meaningless and “pure political posturing.” The law’s intent “seems to be to turn mental health professionals into detectives and policemen, he said, but ‘no patient is going to tell you anything if they think you’re going to report them.'”

The Wall Street Journal (1/16, El-ghobashy, Subscription Publication) cites Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, who said New York’s proposed law appears designed to allay public fears of armed, mentally ill people, who studies show are far more likely to be the victims of violence. He warned that the law may deter mentally ill people from seeking treatment, a sentiment shared by Eric Neblung, a psychologist and the president of the New York State Psychological Association. He warned that the law could turn psychologists into police officers.

Related Links:

— “Experts: Proposed NY gun law might hinder therapy, “Malcom Ritter, The Washington Times, January 15, 2013.

Posted in In The News.