Mending minds

Treatment Before Tragedy

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After the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting in December 2012, concerned family and community members formed a coalition to ensure that the perspectives of family members with loved ones diagnosed with serious mental illness are included in the national debate on mental illness.

In regular meetings, the coalition discussed its priorities, goals and mission.

​The coalition is especially interested in the links between mental health services and treatment, neuroscience, violence and serious mental illness.

In May 2014, Treatment Before Tragedy incorporated in Virginia as a nonprofit organization. Treatment Before Tragedy represents families and their supporters seeking to improve treatment, services, research and a cure for people with serious mental illness.

The federal government defines "serious mental illness," or "SMI," as a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that results in functional impairment when untreated. Illnesses include bipolar, schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia.

Because Treatment Before Tragedy’s members have personal connections and experiences similar to those amplified by recent national tragedies from Colorado to Arizona and Connecticut, they are uniquely qualified to respond to the serious gaps in accessible treatment, research and resources available today.

​Treatment Before Tragedy is dedicated to federal and other advocacy for better treatment and services for people with serious mental illnesses, and support for their families and caregivers. Treatment Before Tragedy seeks to alleviate societal and family tragedies, helping to bring healing to communities and our country.

About US

our VISION

We will advocate on the federal and other levels for better research, treatment and services for people with serious mental illnesses, and support for their families and caregivers.


By working to ensure that quality treatment and services are available, Treatment Before Tragedy seeks to alleviate societal and family tragedies resulting from inadequate mental health care.


By developing a highly trained, supportive network, Treatment Before Tragedy aims to bring healing to families and communities impacted by acts of violence due to failures in the mental health system.


By chronicling the challenges families face getting treatment and services in a journalism project, Treatment Before Tragedy plans to humanize their struggles and spotlight the areas of mental health care that need attention. 

our mission 

Our mission is to advocate for better treatment, services, science and a cure for individuals and families impacted by serious mental illness. Our vision is to promote a healthy and safe society for all. ​