Violence and Mental Illness: Rethinking Risk Factors and Enhancing Public Safety

Violence and Mental Illness: Rethinking Risk Factors and Enhancing Public Safety

Violence and Mental Illness: Rethinking Risk Factors and Enhancing Public Safety

Violence and Mental Illness: Rethinking Risk Factors and Enhancing Public Safety

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Overview

Shows that the myth that mental illness is strongly linked to violence makes us all less safe

Mass shootings have become a defining issue of our time. Whenever the latest act of newsworthy violence occurs, mental illness is inevitably cited as a preeminent cause by members of the news media and political sphere alike. Violence and Mental Illness: Rethinking Risk Factors and Enhancing Public Safety exposes how mental illness is vastly overemphasized in popular discussion of mass violence, which in turn makes us all less safe.

The recurring and intense focus on mental illness in the wake of violent tragedy is fueled by social stigma and cognitive bias, strengthening an exaggerated link between violence and mental illness. Yet as Eric B. Elbogen and Nico Verykoukis clearly and compellingly demonstrate in this book, a wide array of empirical data show that this link is much weaker than commonly believed—numerous other risk factors have been proven to be stronger predictors of violence. In particular, the authors argue that overweighting mental illness means underweighting more robust risk factors, which are external (e.g., poverty, financial strain, inadequate social support), internal (e.g., younger age, anger, substance abuse), or violence-defining (e.g., lacking empathy, gun access, hate group membership). These risk factors need to be taken into consideration when crafting policies that concern public safety, with emphasis on strategies for reducing the viability and acceptability of violence as a choice.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479801459
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 08/08/2023
Series: Psychology and Crime , #13
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Eric B. Elbogen (Author)
Eric B. Elbogen is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke UniversitySchool of Medicine and a Psychologist at the VA. He has conducted clinical work and research primarily at the intersection of law and mental health for twenty-nine years and authored over 200 scientific articles. He is board certified in forensic psychology and serves on the editorial boards of scholarly journals, including Law and Human Behavior and the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health.

Nico Verykoukis (Author)
Nico Verykoukis is a retired clinical social worker. Over his twenty-nine-year career of general practice, he worked with clinical colleagues, law enforcement, and employers to help clients manage violent thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. He consulted with managers and HR officers of dozens of corporate, municipal, and non-profit employers on preventing violence in the workplace, and he provided counseling and psychotherapy to victims of violence.
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