Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mental Disorder in Terrorism, Mass Murder and Violence: Moving Away From Pathologising Grievance


The following is an excerpt from the latest CREST Security Review (Issue 8). You'll see how from the snippet below, the material is directly applicable to those working in crisis situations be it as as law enforcement negotiator, crisis intervention specialist, crisis counselor or another type of role. 

The assumption of mental disorder causing violent behaviour has instinctive appeal: It offers a clear-cut and simple explanation of why people choose violence. By attributing Paddock’s record act of violence to mental disorder (as understood by the general public), as opposed to a political aim, it fits with the popular image of a crazed killer.  
The case of Paddock is not isolated. Media coverage of many recent mass killings has shown the desire to attribute motivation to mental illness. The cases of Dylann Roof, Esteban SantiagoRuiz, Michel Zehaf-Bibeau, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, and Omar Mateen have all attracted wide media coverage, mainly because of the discussion surrounding how their actions should be labelled due to their suspected mental disorder. 
...Just because a factor (such as mental disorder) is present in a case of mass violence, does not make it causal. Nor is it always facilitative. It may be completely irrelevant. We must be comfortable with this complexity; understand that where mental health problems are present, they are usually one of several aspects in a risk profile; and by doing so, not stigmatising the vast majority of people that suffer from mental health problems while remaining non-violent, non-radicalised, and in need of care.

Read more from Emily Corner [HERE]. 

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