Sufferers of specific mental illnesses characterized by delusions and paranoia are much more likely to perpetrate violence
This bare recitation of facts is pretty extraordinary. In an entire year, the whole province of Quebec typically has somewhere between 60 and 80 homicides. The list we have just given contains nine murders and covers about seven weeks. In noticing this, however, we risk “stigmatizing the mentally ill,” a sin that is of grave concern to University of Ottawa law Prof. Emmanuelle Bernheim. Bernheim, a specialist in “mental health and access to justice,” doesn’t like that this spasm of extreme violence by the self-evidently insane has politicians talking of involuntary treatment for psychiatric disorders.
When the premier of Quebec says what amounts to, “Man, I guess we’d better do something about all this violence caused by mental health problems,” Prof. Bernheim balks and calls the remarks “problematic.” The professor, as paraphrased in the CP story, claimed that the research “does not show that people with a mental illness are more likely than others to be violent.”
You are reading: Colby Cosh: Let’s not pretend there isn’t a link between schizophrenia and violence
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