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Is mass murder really a mental health issue

Posted Jan 23 2013 12:18am

The article linked below is one of the most literate on the subject I have read.  It questions many of the popular assumptions, the politically correct assumptions on this issue.  It is well worth your time if this is an interest of any importance to you.  The result of Newtown has unfortunately been the widespread perception that “we need to do a better job controlling the mentally ill.”   Before you buy this read this article.

One of the points the author makes is:

The belief that coercive interventions with people who have serious mental disorders should be used more frequently is highly controversial. There are critical questions about:

  • The rights of Americans who have psychiatric disabilities to live freely in the community if they have not committed a crime or manifested danger to self or others 
  • The long-term impact of involuntary incarceration of people with mental disorders 


  • The effectiveness of court mandated treatment in contrast to outreach and voluntary engagement programs 


  • The assumption that increased coercion will reduce the incidence of criminal violence by people with serious mental illness.


The belief that admission to psychiatric inpatient treatment should be easier and that lengths of stay should be longer is also highly controversial. Do people generally benefit more from longer or shorter inpatient treatment? Would more admissions and longer length of stay really result in reduced incidence of murders by people with severe mental illness? This is highly questionable, as a recent report  by the Bazelon Center documents. And if our nation decides to put more resources into mental health care, should they be invested in more inpatient treatment, or in expansion of the kinds of community mental health services that might reach people with mental disorders before they become acutely psychotic?”


There is much worth listening to in this article.  I hope you will read it.


Mass Murder: Is There a Mental Health Issue?: via HuffPost

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