Research and resources from the Treatment Advocacy Center as the rampage murders in Colorado raise questions about the connection of mental illness and violence
The relationship between untreated severe mental illness and violence is well-established. At least 10% of homicides and a larger percentage of rampage murders involve a suspect who is mentally ill, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center.
Arlington, VA (PRWEB) July 20, 2012
Almost inevitably after the massacres in Tucson, at Virginia Tech and elsewhere, the rampage that left 12 dead and scores wounded early Friday in Aurora, Colorado, raises questions about the relationship of severe mental illness and violence, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national nonprofit that focuses on the most severe mental illnesses
"People with mental illnesses who are being treated are not more dangerous than the general population," said E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., a leading authority on the association of violence and severe mental illness and founder of the organization. "But evidence has become overwhelming that untreated severe mental illnesses are a significant contributor to violent acts, including homicides and a large percentage of rampage murders."
In the event that severe mental illness is implicated in the latest mass murder, relevant data and information may be found in the following resources:
"Rampage murders” from The Insanity Offense: How America's Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens", E. Fuller Torrey, MD (WW Norton, 2012): “There is one class of homicides for which individuals with severe psychiatric disorders are responsible for a much higher percentage….These are rampage murders in which the person kills several people, usually strangers, at one time.”
- “No Room at the Inn: Trends and Consequences of Closing Public Psychiatric Hospitals,” Treatment Advocacy Center (July 2012): “When (individuals with severe mental illness) do not receive treatment, multiple studies have found their risk of violent behavior, including homicides, to be significantly elevated….(A)t least 10% of homicides are associated with severe mental illnesses….”
- “Comparison of first-episode and previously treated persons with psychosis found NGMI for a violent offense,” Nielssen, et.al., Psychiatric Services (July 2011): “Evidence has emerged of a higher risk of serious violence in first-episode psychosis.”
- "Violent behavior: One of the consequences of failing to treat individuals with severe psychiatric disorders,” Treatment Advocacy Center (February 2008)