Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impacts, and Solutions

National Council for Behavioral HealthThis publication from the National Council for Behavioral Health examines existing data and expertise on mass violence, provides an analysis about its causes and impacts, and makes recommendations to inform policy and practice for a broad range of stakeholders. The National Council for Behavioral Health Medical Director Institute convened an expert panel, which specifically examined the extent to which mental illness is or is not a contributing factor to this social pathology. The paper explains how, while a subset of people perpetrating mass violence has one of the more severe mental illnesses or personality disorders, many do not and highlights how in lumping all mental illness together—and then assuming that acts that seem incomprehensible to the average person are due to mental illness—results in millions of harmless, nonviolent individuals recovering from treatable mental health conditions being subjected to stigma, rejection, discrimination, and even unwarranted legal restrictions and social control.