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Mental Health & Violence; 6 facts

compiled by Hywel Davies

1. Approximately 95% of homicides committed each year in Britain are committed by people who do not have mental health problems. (1).

2. The vast majority of people who use mental health services are not violent. (1)

3. Between 1974 and 1994 the rate of homicide in Britain doubled, yet there was no increase in homicides in the same period by people with mental health problems.(1)

4. In terms of homicide, the general public is far more at risk from young men under the influence of alcohol than from people with a mental health problem. (1).

5. A person without a mental health problem is 400% more likely to commit an act of homicide than a person with a mental health problem. (2)

6. A person with schizophrenia is 100 times more likely to commit suicide than an act of homicide - 10% of schizophrenics commit suicide. (2)



(1) Audit Commission, Finding a Place: A Review of Mental health Services for Adults, HMSO, 1994

(2) Report of the Confidential Enquiry into Homicides and Suicides by Mentally Ill People, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1996.