Mental Illness Not a Major Factor in Most Mass Shootings

Mental Illness Not a Major Factor in Most Mass Shootings

Although it is believed that mental health factors significantly in most mass murders and mass shootings, new findings published in the journal Psychological Medicine suggest that isn’t the case. In fact, serious mental illness is present only in 11% of mass murderers and 8% of mass shooters, according to a news release from the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry in New York City. Research showed that people who committed mass murders by fire, explosives, stabbing and other means had a prevalence of serious mental illness of 18%. Although almost two thirds of mass murders are committed with guns, those that don’t involve firearms resulted in significantly more casualties. Instead, researchers believe that other factors play a more apparent role in mass shootings, including legal problems, substance and alcohol use and difficulty coping with life events.

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