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Mental Illness and Crime

When a crime has been committed, people want answers.  This can lead to simple answers the community can try to understand.  We are all familiar with the headlines tying in a mental illness after a crime has been committed.  Because crime in relationship to mental illness is often heavily advertised in the media, an unfair stigma has been associated with those suffering from a mental illness being violent or unpredictable.

US News, has reported something a little different however. Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter, wrote an article on a study done by psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN, Jillian Peterson.  The results showed that few crimes by those who are mentally ill can actually be linked to their mental illness.  The study showed that only 7.5 percent of crimes could be linked to symptoms one may be experiencing because of their mental illness.  Most people who suffer from a mental illness are not violent.  To read the full article, click here.

This study helps to further fight the stigma that is often associated with mental illness.  Though the media may highlight these facts, it is important to remember that it is only a very small fraction of those with a mental illness.  Help spread the word and fight the stigma surrounded around mental illness.