Mentally Ill Should Get Health Care as Easily as They Get Guns

Liza Long, blogger and creator of I Am Adam Lanza's Mother, isn't the mom of the Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza. But she is mother to a mentally ill child. She says the nation must address mental illness as seriously as it does patients with a heart attack or stroke.

"With Aaron Alexis of the Navy Yard shooting, he was screaming for help, a person with mental illness who was not able to get mental health care ... but who was able to buy a gun."

Long spoke Monday night to the local group 'One in Five MInds,' which seeks to raise awareness of mental illness issues, and to eradicate stigmas surrounding mental illness.  In Bexar County alone, some 80,000 childena nd teenagers are believed to suffer from some type of mental illnes.

Law enforcement officials around the country complain that many prisoners are simply the mentally ill left to fend for themselves.

"I spend about 1/3rd of my take home, even with good health insurance, on care for my mentally ill child, and I have three other children, and it's a tremendous strain on my emotional and financial resources."

Long supports the Affordable Care Act as it pays for mental health care as equally as it does for those with physical problems.

"The great change here is that now mental health will be covered with parity compared to physical health," she says.

Long says we need to make it as easy for the mentally ill to get the care they need as it is to get a gun.