Report: Connection Between Mental Health & Mass Violence Is Overstated

Behavioral health medical directors, researchers, FBI agents, judges and law enforcement spent months examining the connections between mental health and mass shootings.

In August 2019, they published their findings: These connections are much more complicated than simple cause and effect.

The report considers a wide cross-section of mass violence, including 160 active shooter incidents over a decade from the FBI; U.S. Secret Service information on 28 mass attacks on public spaces in 2017; and 37 incidents of school violence from 1974 to 2000.

It concludes that blaming mental illness as the sole cause of a mass shooting is inaccurate.

“‘If we simply focus on mental illness, we can eradicate mass shooting.’ You know it’s just misinformation. It’s incomplete,” Dr. Donald Bechtold, medical director and VP health care and integration at the Jefferson Center for Mental Health told Newsy.

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