Perhaps. Had a wider, deeper network of mental health services been in place in Connecticut, maybe history would not have recorded the chilling massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators by a disturbed young man whose mental difficulties were all too obvious to most who encountered him.
Putting such an enhanced network in place by redirecting resources in a more efficient and effective manner is one of the goals of legislation approved by the state Senate on Thursday. It should be passed by the state House and signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The bipartisan bill, which focuses on early detection and prevention of mental illness, is a companion to a funded mental health component in the gun violence and school safety legislation already enacted.
Under the bill passed by the Senate last week, the Office of Early Childhood must coordinate a system of voluntary in-home visitation programs that would be available to families with children who have severe depression, substance-abuse challenges or special health care needs.
The General Assembly should have considered such a bill "many, many years ago," said Sen. L. Scott Frantz. "I am absolutely convinced we could have headed off many serious problems, including maybe what happened in December 2012." He may be right.