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Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impact and Solutions

National Council for Behavioral Health


Source: National Council for Behavioral Health


Among advanced countries, the U.S. has a unique problem with mass violence — defined as crimes in which four or more people are killed in an event or related series of events. A substantial majority occurs by shooting. Both the rate at which mass shootings occur and the number of people killed are increasing. Frequently, in the wake of such tragedies, policymakers and the public raise the specter of mental illness as a major contributing factor.The National Council for Behavioral Health Medical Director Institute convened an expert panel to analyze the root causes of mass violence, its contributing factors, the characteristics of perpetrators and the impacts on victims and society. The panel specifically examined the extent to which mental illness is or is not a contributing factor to this social pathology and developed recommendations for a broad range of stakeholders.

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