Abbott blamed the Texas school shooting on a lack of mental health resources. But it’s cut more than $200 million from the department running it: report

Texas Governor Greg Abbott blamed the Uvalde school shooting on mental health, but cut nearly $20 million from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees mental health services,CNN reported.

“There is no known mental health history of the shooter,” Abbott said at that conference.

However, he still seems to blame the mass shootings for sanity.

“What I know from talking to leaders here, as well as leaders across the state, one thing that has changed significantly is the state of mental health in our communities,” he said. “We as a state, we as a society need to do a better job of mental health.”

Lori Post, director of the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at Northwestern University School of Medicine, said BNC News that there is “no evidence that the shooter is mentally ill, just angry and hateful”.

“While it is understandable that most people cannot imagine the killing of young children and want to attribute it to mental health, it is very rare for a mass shooter to have a diagnosed mental health issue,” she told the outlet.

CNN’s Pamela Brown reported that despite Abbott’s claim that the problem is mental health-related, he cut the state’s Health and Human Services Commission from more than $117 million in 2021 to just over of $93 million in 2022.

Over the two years, more than $200 million was cut from department funds to support the National Guard and border efforts, according to the outlet.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, but told CNN that Abbott spent his time in office working with lawmakers to support mental health initiatives in the state.

Mental Health America, a nonprofit that tracks mental health resources across the country, however, ranked Texas 50 out of 51 territories for access to mental health in 2021. It also ranked 15 for adults and 30 for youth, indicating it had a high prevalence of mental illnesses but limited care.

Brown addressed Texas’ mental health rankings in relation to several mass shootings in the state in recent years, alongside the relaxation of gun laws.

Abbott said Wednesday that 18-year-olds have been able to buy long guns for 60 years.

“Why for the majority of these 60 years we haven’t had school shootings? And why do we have them now?” said Abbott.

Post told NBC News that Texas has the highest per capita gun rate, and Abbott’s efforts to curb mass shootings after the 2019 El Paso shootings only led to to more bills that “involved arming the public to stop mass shooters”.

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