There is no greater time to create a platform to discuss the overhaul of a system of care such as the mental health system in America. Over the past 2 decades, the increase of violent acts in our communities have been attributed to the untreated and abandoned individuals who suffer from mental illness. Despite the government’s best efforts, the lapse in judgement has proven to be devastating to our community and change is a necessary component for intervention and prevention. The purpose of this manuscript’s existence is to bring to light to this overlooked correlation and identify solutions that will be effective and practical.
THE PROBLEM DEFINED/HISTORY
It is very important to distinguish mental illness from those who commit crimes for various reasons which happens on a daily occurrence. To properly identify mental illness there must be a distinction between normality and pathological patterns of behavior. (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Therefore, consistency of the pattern of the person suffering with mental illness is key in understanding that there is significant problem existing versus someone engaging in deviant behavior. We are constantly bombarded by newsreels of stories of violent acts committed from individuals whose behavior prior to the incidents should have enlisted the services of a psychiatric intervention to avert such crimes.
THE ROOT CAUSES
There is a striking parallel involving an issue with the dynamics power having and their ability to cope thus having a negative effect on the individual. The Bible stated, “King Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored.” (NIV Daniel 4:33-34) The King struggled with maintainin...
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...medication and therapy to transition to a lower level of care and fund more community based agencies to service this population. This was done as a means to lower but also transfer cost to the private sector.
WHAT STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE
There is a great need to push psychopathological studies to include more connections between the mental ill and their potential to commit violent acts. Not everyone who has mental illness will commit violent crimes. Corrigan suggested, “Although, we must proceed with caution before isolating those with mental illness, it still warrants a deeper look into changing how this population is cared for and monitored. The discrimination and stigma associated with mental illnesses stem in part, from the link between mental illness and violence in the minds of the general public (DHHS, 1999, Corrigan, et al., 2002). That stereotype has
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