5 years after Sandy Hook, mental health care worries linger

Teddy bears and flowers, in memory of those killed, are left at a memorial down the street from the Sandy Hook School on Dec. 16, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. (Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Five years after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, mental health care providers are waiting for promised boosts in funding and many families are still battling with insurance companies to cover their children’s services.

While advocates say the quality of mental health care varies widely by state, they also see reason for optimism in a push for more early intervention programs and changing public attitudes.

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The shooting killed 20 first-graders and six educators on Dec. 14, 2012. It prompted calls for tighter controls on guns and improved mental health treatment.

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The 21st Century Cures Act created a committee to advise Congress and federal agencies on the needs of adults and young people with serious mental illness. It’s scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the group’s first report to Congress.

Photos: 5 years later: Remembering the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings

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