Walker: Behavioral Health System Must Improve - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Walker: Behavioral Health System Must Improve

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Governor Scott Walker delivered the keynote address Tuesday at the annual meeting of the La Crosse Area Development Corporation.

But ahead of that address he fielded questions from the media – some of which were about mental health and gun control following last week's shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The gunman in that shooting, who killed 20 first grade students and seven adult women, is believed to have been mentally unstable.

"There's a huge breakdown in the mental health systems in many of our states," Walker said. "It's something we need to assess with our counties and local communities to make sure people who have mental health needs in our state are getting those long before something like this (shooting) could ever happen."

"If someone goes in and gets treatment for anxiety, voluntarily, that shouldn't be treated any differently by the public than someone who sprains an ankle, goes in and gets that treated," Walker added. "Both are dealing with health and wellness."

"Unfortunately, there's a bit of a stigma about mental health – there has been for years," he added.

Walker said he does not anticipate a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, such as the one Senator Diane Feinstein (D, Calif.) has said she will introduce at the federal level, passing the legislature here in Wisconsin.

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