Skip to main content

Al Franken wants Trump to back up promise on mental health

The former Minnesota senator has been drawn into the Florida shooting debate.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Al Franken has been keeping a low profile since he stepped down as Minnesota senator, with public statements and posts on social media few and far between.

But the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida has prompted him to surface on Saturday, focusing his comments on mental health.

While "it's a mental health problem" has been a commonly-used response to the massacre from those opposed to gun control measures, Franken wants to hold them to their word – among them the president.

In the aftermath of the shooting, President Trump said his administration would "tackle the difficult issue of mental health."

Related:

– Former Bush lawyer calls on Franken to run for governor.

Franken is critical of Trump not acknowledging the role that the proliferation of "military-grade guns" has to play in mass shootings, but says "he was ... right to mention the issue of mental health."

He goes on to say though that he worries Trump's "rhetoric does not match his actions."

He calls for better mental health resources in schools, including training for all staff members so that they can recognize a child who is struggling.

He cites non-specific examples of schools in Minnesota that have improved their mental health response and removed the stigmatism of mental illness to the point "kids high-five their therapist in the school hallway."

"Mental health in schools was supported in the reform of No Child Left Behind, but at a woefully inadequate level," he says. "If the administration and Congress are serious about mental health, we need to devote more resources to treatment – not fewer resources, as we see in the administration’s latest budget."

Here's his full post.

Next Up

Hennepin County Medical Center, HCMC

Woman dies from injuries in crash that killed her husband, another man

The couple in their 80s died in the collision near Lake Lillian.

CPAP masks

2 Park Nicollet employees convicted of embezzling $500,000

The pair worked at a CPAP clinic in St. Louis Park.

Concert

No Jingle Ball this year? Twin Cities left off iHeartRadio holiday tour

The annual touring event usually visits the Xcel Energy Center.

Target store

Target gives first look at some of its Deal Days discounts

The Minneapolis retailer is holding its Deal Days event earlier than ever, in an attempt to drive sales after a turbulent year.

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 11.03.12 AM

Man dies after crashing truck into western Wisconsin lake

The victim was unable to make it to shore despite being able to get out of his truck.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Sheriff: Man who didn't return to campsite died in ATV crash

It happened at the Foothills State Forest and Spider Lake ATV Recreation Area

Richard Liu, aka Liu Qiangdong

Chinese billionaire settles lawsuit over alleged rape in Minneapolis

The tech billionaire was accused of sexually assaulting a University of Minnesota student in 2018.

US Navy Flickr - COVID hospital PPE nurse

Frontline worker payments: Over a million Minnesotans to get $487.45

Gov. Tim Walz says the payments will start going out on Wednesday.

19050650853_a4a6377429_k

Ed Sheeran to bring North America stadium tour to Minneapolis

It's the second show announced for the Vikings stadium in 2023.

Kim Crockett

GOP candidate Kim Crockett won't commit to accepting election result

Crockett has been a proponent of conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 presidential election.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.41.39 AM

Charges: Man carjacked father, daughter as they loaded groceries outside Cub

The father grappled with the suspect after he had pointed a gun at his daughter.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 8.25.27 PM

Pilot, brother and sister killed when plane crashed into house are ID'd

The plane crashed into a house in Hermantown, Minnesota.

Related

Next in Al Franken's sights: Jeff Sessions ... again

The Minnesota Senator has reignited his feud with the Attorney General.

Franken backs single-payer health care bill

The Minnesota senator is cosponsoring Bernie Sanders' bill.

Amid condemnation from Senate colleagues, support still remains for Al Franken

There are plenty of people unhappy with the senator's possible resignation.

Is Al Franken done with Minnesota politics? Maybe not.

The former Minnesota senator hasn't ruled it out.

Sarah Silverman says Al Franken was 'bullied' into resigning

The comedian is a long-time friend of Minnesota's former senator.

Al Franken says he won't be running for president in 2020

The Minnesota senator has been touted recently as a possible Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2020.

Franken makes tentative return to public limelight with healthcare podcast

The former senator has been quiet since stepping down amid inappropriate conduct allegations.