Violence, Mental Health Disorders and

Violence refers to the physical actions of a person directed toward another person with the potential to cause harm. Such actions are nonaccidental and include threats to harm, use of physical force, and use of a weapon. Mental health is a broad term incorporating aspects of individuals’ thinking, emotions, and behaviors that contribute to well-being and interpersonal and vocational functioning. Mental health disorders are defined as aberrations in thinking, emotions, and/or behavior, causing functional impairment or distress. Individuals with a mental health disorder are at an elevated risk of perpetrating a violent act compared with individuals without a disorder. Conversely, the majority of individuals experiencing a mental health disorder do not perpetrate acts of violence on others.

There is a widespread belief among the general public ...

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