Facts about Mental Illness and Violence
- It is important to note that behavioral health research and practice over the last 20 years reveal that most people who are violent do not have a mental disorder, and most people with a mental disorder are not violent.*
- In fact, studies indicate that people with mental illnesses are more likely to be the victims of violent attacks than the general population. *
- Demographic variables such as age, gender and socioeconomic status are more reliable predictors of violence than mental illness.*
- Misconceptions about mental illness can cause discrimination and unfairly hamper the recovery of the nearly 20 percent of all adult Americans who experience a mental illness each year.
- Family, friends, employers and school personnel can be a line of “first response” if they notice a person is behaving differently and is of concern. The choice to seek treatment is more likely if others are compassionate and supportive. Mental health treatment can be effective and can enable a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.
- Treatment is effective and people recover from mental illnesses to live productive lives in our communities.