Gun violence and mental illness pdf

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gun violence and mental illness pdf

Mental illness and reduction of gun violence and suicide: bringing epidemiologic research to policy

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File Name: gun violence and mental illness
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Published 14.01.2019

Why addressing mental illness isn’t enough to reduce gun violence

ing Gun Violence and Mental Illness. I was delighted when I was asked to review this book, as I have been following professional discussions surrounding guns.

Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms

Both authors conceptualized and designed the analysis and wrote and edited the article. Each of these statements is certainly true in particular instances. In the United States, popular and political discourse frequently focuses on the causal impact of mental illness in the aftermath of mass shootings. For instance, the US media diagnosed shooter Adam Lanza with schizophrenia in the days following the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December Similar themes permeated political responses to Newtown as well.

Research shows that there is no direct link between gun violence excluding suicide and mental health. In fact, people with disabilities of all kinds are more likely to be the victims of gun violence. People with disabilities in general are 2.
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This article describes epidemiologic evidence concerning risk of gun violence and suicide linked to psychiatric disorders, in contrast to media-fueled public perceptions of the dangerousness of mentally ill individuals, and evaluates effectiveness of policies and laws designed to prevent firearms injury and mortality associated with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Research concerning public attitudes toward persons with mental illness is reviewed and juxtaposed with evidence from benchmark epidemiologic and clinical studies of violence and mental illness and of the accuracy of psychiatrists' risk assessments. Selected policies and laws designed to reduce gun violence in relation to mental illness are critically evaluated; evidence-based policy recommendations are presented. Media accounts of mass shootings by disturbed individuals galvanize public attention and reinforce popular belief that mental illness often results in violence. Epidemiologic studies show that the large majority of people with serious mental illnesses are never violent. However, mental illness is strongly associated with increased risk of suicide, which accounts for over half of US firearms—related fatalities. Policymaking at the interface of gun violence prevention and mental illness should be based on epidemiologic data concerning risk to improve the effectiveness, feasibility, and fairness of policy initiatives.

Skip to search form Skip to main content. Rozel and Edward P. Rozel , Edward P. Firearm violence is a significant and preventable public health crisis. Mental illness is a weak risk factor for violence despite popular misconceptions reflected in the media and policy. View PDF.


  1. Brice T. says:

    Mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent the most significant relationship between gun violence and mental illness. ☒ People with serious.

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