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The Pentagon Tragedy: Mental Illness, Violence and What Reporters Should Ask
Date:3/6/2010

sensationalism and provide balanced perspective and education on mental illness, treatment and recovery.

The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that the likelihood of violence by people with mental illness is low: 'The overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.'  

In fact, people with mental illness are 10 times more likely than other Americans to be victims of violence.

Because acts of violence are exceptional, they are a sign that something has gone terribly wrong. Issues that reporters and others should pursue in any case of this nature include:

  • Was there an actual diagnosis? What were the symptoms?
  • What was the full medical history?
  • Did the person or family seek treatment, but get
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SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness
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