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Thursday, October 3, 2013

People With Mental Illness ‘More Likely To Have Violence Done To Them Than To Inflict Harm On Others’

By Candice Leigh Helfand
CBS News - DC Office
September 18, 2013

Here are some excerpts:

In light of the news, the call for mental health care reform – especially in regards to better funding and availability of mental health programs – could be heard from individuals and organizations alike throughout the U.S. following the elementary school attack. The call for more stringent gun control was even louder, given Lanza’s easy access to a high-powered assault rifle – a Bushmaster XM15-E2S.

Ultimately, the administration of President Barack Obama set forth legislation that, in essence, married the two issues. The gun control proposal he announced in early January included a number of potential restrictions on guns and assault weapons as well as requests for funding that would go specifically toward expanding mental health treatment programs.

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“I think the challenge is this: if you look across all mental health disorders throughout the United States … nearly half of all adult Americans had a mental health disorder at some point,” Sherry A. Glied, the newly-appointed dean of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, said to CBSDC. “The vast majority of those people have never engaged in anything violent.”

As well as all of those who have, at one point or another, grappled with mental illness, mental health problems presently plague over a fourth of the entire population of the U.S. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, approximately 26.2 percent of American adults ages 18 and older suffer from some form of mental illness.

Experts worry that stigma “might actually lead to people being reluctant to seek help,” as Dr. John Duby, the chair of the Mental Health Leadership Workgroup at the American Academy of Pediatrics, noted.

The entire story is here.
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