Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mental Illness and Violence: Dispelling the Myths and Managing the Risks

I'm passing along this information so that readers can register for this forum if interested:

Mental Illness and Violence: Dispelling the Myths and Managing the Risks
Washington, D.C. – In the aftermath of highly publicized cases of violence, there is a big disconnect about mental illness and its connection to violence. Research shows that people with mental illness are more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of violence. On Thursday, May 26, the global research institute RTI International will host a policy forum “Mental Illness and Violent Events: Identifying, Managing and Reducing Risks,” where expert researchers working on these issues will clarify the scope of mental illness in relation to violent events, including suicide, gun violence, and victimization.
Often policymakers develop mental health policies as a response – and solution – to incidents of gun violence instead of an investment in needed mental health services, systems, and supports. Panelists will discuss the nuances these policies fail to take into account, and recommend steps for managing and reducing the risk of violence through evidence-based interventions, trainings, and services.
To attend the policy forum, please register here. The forum will also be live streamed. To view the webinar, please register here. Find more information about the event here.
·         Opening address: Tim Gabel, Executive Vice President of Social, Statistical and Environmental Sciences, RTI International
·         Moderator: Richard Van Dorn, PhD, Senior Mental Health Services Researcher, RTI International
·         Duren Banks, PhD, Senior Research Criminologist, RTI International
·         Leslie Citrome, MD, MPH, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, New York Medical College
·         Sarah Desmarais, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, North Carolina State University
·         Joshua Horwitz, JD, Executive Director, Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence
·         Jeffrey Swanson, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University              
When: Thursday, May 26, 2016
  Lunch and Registration: 12:00 EDT
  Forum: 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. EDT
Where: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th Street N.W., Washington, D.C.

About RTI International
RTI International is one of the world's leading research institutes, dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. Our staff of more than 3,700 provides research and technical services to governments and businesses in more than 75 countries in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, international development, economic and social policy, energy and the environment, and laboratory testing and chemical analysis. For more information, visit

I just couldn't seem to get the colors right from the copy and paste, but if you're interested, go or listen anyway.


George Dawson, MD, DFAPA said...

I never really understand the point of the disconnect.

Of course people with mental illnesses are less likely to be violent to others. But to psychiatrists, the point is that it happens and we are professionally obliged to make many more frequent assessments of this problem than any other physician. In my 25 years of inpatient work, my number one task each day was assessing the potential for suicide and the potential for violence toward others. My number two taak was preventing violence on the mental health unit that I was responsible for. I treated many people who were perpetrators of homicide due to a mental illness. I also treated many people who were survivors of serious suicide attempts. I testified in thousands of hearings on the issue.

I think it is important to recognize that the political element here of not stigmatizing people with mental illness is self defeating at some point. It does not allow the people who are potentially violent due to mental illness to fully appreciate the problem and work on a plan that will prevent them from becoming violent. It also prevents the public and policy makers to recognize the severe strain that is placed on resources by this problem alone - independent of any diagnosis.

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