Mental Illness and Gun Violence

Below is information that I am sharing from the NAMI Silicon Valley April Newsletter. It lists information regarding mental illness and gun violence.

In short, there is a low correlation between a person having a mental illness and an increase risk that they will harm others with a gun. A person with mental illness is in more danger of being a harm to themselves than to other people.

A solution to gun violence, like any other issue, has many sides. Even though mental illness does not account for a large number of gun related deaths, mental illness stigma needs to end and more resources need to be available. To get the small 2% of gun violence  down to 0 would help with gun reform and more lives saved.

Please Share: Talking Points About Mental Illness and Gun Violence

-The contribution of mental illness to overall violence in the U.S. is very small, 4%; and the contribution of mental illness to overall gun violence in the U.S. is even smaller, 2%.
-98% of domestic gun violence does not involve mental illness.
-In general, a diagnosis of serious mental illness does not increase the risk of violence. Most people with mental illness will never become violent, & most gun violence is not caused by mental illness.
-Risks of violence may increase slightly with: Co-occurring substance use or dependence; a past history of violence; being young and male; perceived threats from others.
-Impulsivity, anger, traumatic life events such as job loss or divorce, and problematic alcohol use are all stronger than mental illness as risk factors for gun violence.
-More than 60% of U.S. gun deaths are suicides; mental illness is a significant underlying cause of suicide.
-Current federal law prohibits gun dealers from selling guns to certain categories of people with mental illness. There is no evidence that expanding these prohibitions will reduce gun violence in the U.S. However, expanding these prohibitions could reinforce stigma towards mental illness and further discourage people from seeking help when needed.

(shared via NAMI Silicon Valley).

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