Local Congressman Ted Deutch Turns Up Gun Control Heat on Tallahassee

Deutch wants to expand access to mental health services in Florida

By Julia Bagg
|  Thursday, Jan 31, 2013  |  Updated 8:09 PM EDT
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U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, is calling on Florida to expand access to mental health services. He and State Rep. Joe Gibbons spoke about the issue at a news conference.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, is calling on Florida to expand access to mental health services. He and State Rep. Joe Gibbons spoke about the issue at a news conference.

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The link between mental health and gun control were the focus of a news conference Thursday with a Florida Congressman and medical professionals in Lauderdale Lakes.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, is calling on Florida to expand access to mental health services, noting that the state ranks 49th in the nation for mental health funding.

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Deutch unveiled a letter he's sending to Florida legislative leaders about the issue during the news conference at Henderson Behavior Health where he was joined by State Rep. Joe Gibbons.

"Let's treat wellness, not sickness," Gibbons said of mental health prevention. "We're not Flori-duh."

Deutch talked about universal background checks and restricting high-powered weapons.

"There has been a lot of talk in this country about what we can do," Deutch said. "This is something that has to be acted upon."

The announcement comes on the heels of another local leader – Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz – meeting with NRA members Wednesday to debate ideas for curbing gun violence.

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"We can't adopt an attitude that there's just one thing that we can do and all the gun violence is gonna go away," Wasserman Schultz explained during Wednesday's panel meeting in Oakland Park. "We have to take a long-term, comprehensive approach so that we can really address this problem once and for all."

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