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The Link Between Mental Illness and Firearm Violence: Implications for Social Policy and Clinical Practice

The Link Between Mental Illness and Firearm Violence: Implications for Social Policy and Clinical... The United States has substantially higher levels of firearm violence than most other developed countries. Firearm violence is a significant and preventable public health crisis. Mental illness is a weak risk factor for violence despite popular misconceptions reflected in the media and policy. That said, mental health professionals play a critical role in assessing their patients for violence risk, counseling about firearm safety, and guiding the creation of rational and evidence-based public policy that can be effective in mitigating violence risk without unnecessarily stigmatizing people with mental illness. This article summarizes existing evidence about the interplay among mental illness, violence, and firearms, with particular attention paid to the role of active symptoms, addiction, victimization, and psychosocial risk factors. The social and legal context of firearm ownership is discussed as a preface to exploring practical, evidence-driven, and behaviorally informed policy recommendations for mitigating firearm violence risk. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Clinical Psychology Annual Reviews

The Link Between Mental Illness and Firearm Violence: Implications for Social Policy and Clinical Practice

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
1548-5943
eISSN
1548-5951
DOI
10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093459
pmid
28375722
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The United States has substantially higher levels of firearm violence than most other developed countries. Firearm violence is a significant and preventable public health crisis. Mental illness is a weak risk factor for violence despite popular misconceptions reflected in the media and policy. That said, mental health professionals play a critical role in assessing their patients for violence risk, counseling about firearm safety, and guiding the creation of rational and evidence-based public policy that can be effective in mitigating violence risk without unnecessarily stigmatizing people with mental illness. This article summarizes existing evidence about the interplay among mental illness, violence, and firearms, with particular attention paid to the role of active symptoms, addiction, victimization, and psychosocial risk factors. The social and legal context of firearm ownership is discussed as a preface to exploring practical, evidence-driven, and behaviorally informed policy recommendations for mitigating firearm violence risk.

Journal

Annual Review of Clinical PsychologyAnnual Reviews

Published: May 8, 2017

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