Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Treatment Advocacy Center & Gun Violence

Shall Not Be Questioned points to this letter to the New York Times from the Treatment Advocacy Center:
It is easy to attribute tragedies to inadequate gun control, but doing so overlooks the pronounced link between nontreatment of mental illness and violent acts.
A study published just this month by Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology found that homicide rates rise with inadequate treatment for mental illness. If mental illness had been adequately treated in some of the cases you profiled, these crimes might never have happened, regardless of the availability of weapons.
The Treatment Advocacy Center is not a gun rights group.  They are committed to correcting the horrible mistake of deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill.   They point to this recent paper in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology (Nov. 10, 2011) that shows that "broader civil commitment criteria for involuntary treatment of mental illness correlate with a lower homicide rate."  From the abstract:
OLS results indicate that social-economic-demographic-geographic-and-political indicators accounted for 25% of homicide rate variation. Broader ICC-criteria were associated with 1.42 less homicides per 100,000. Less access to psychiatric inpatient-beds and more poorly rated mental health systems were associated with increases in the homicide rates of 1.08 and 0.26 per 100,000, respectively.  
Conclusions While social-economic-demographic-geographic-and-political indicators show the strongest association with homicide rate variation, the results show the importance and potentially preventive utility of broader ICC criteria, increased psychiatric inpatient-bed access, and better performing mental health systems as factors contributing to homicide rate variation. 
 UPDATE:  Want to know more?  The first few chapters of my next book are here.  My agent is hunting for a publisher for it now.


  1. Looks like this will be another well-written book about an important subject. Ever thought about self-publishing on Amazon?

  2. I recognize that finding a publisher for this book is a long shot. If my agent can't find a publisher for it, Amazon is what I am going to do.