Report recommends mental health care improvements

This December 2012 photo released by the Connecticut State Police on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, shows a scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A task force created after the Newtown school shooting is recommending state lawmakers take numerous steps to improve mental health services to children and young adults, saying Connecticut’s current system does not adequately meet the state’s needs.

The 20-member panel, charged with examining mental health services for people aged 16-to-25 years old, released 47 recommendations Tuesday for the General Assembly to consider when it reconvenes in January.

The list includes requiring primary care providers to screen children and young adults up to 25 for behavioral health problems and expanding the number of school psychologists across the state.

Task force leaders acknowledged they couldn’t reach agreement on some more thorny issues, such as making changes to the state’s civil commitment laws. They suggested a second task force could further examine that issue.

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