People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of homicide than perpetrators of homicide

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Dave Steele reports on a recent observational case series published in the Lancet Psychiatry, which concludes that patients with mental illness are two and a half times more likely to be victims of homicide than the general population.

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Preventing serious adverse outcomes in schizophrenia

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People diagnosed with schizophrenia are 7.4 times more likely to be convicted of violent offences, 8.1 times more likely to die prematurely, and 20.7 times more likely to kill themselves.

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Antipsychotics and mood stabilisers may reduce violent crime

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John Baker reports on the first population based report of the positive effects of antipsychotic medication and mood stabilisers on reducing the risk of a conviction for violent crime, published in the Lancet in May.

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“Psychokiller, qu’est-ce que c’est”. The risk of violent re-offending among prisoners with psychotic experiences

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In England and Wales, the Mental Health Act (1983, revised 2007) allows for the detention of individuals to hospital for a period of assessment (Section 2) or treatment (Section 3) if it is deemed that they suffer with a mental disorder of a nature or degree sufficient to warrant admission to hospital and it is necessary [read the full story...]

Black patients’ first contact with mental health services is more likely to be coercive

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It is well documented that there are differences in how patients are treated, depending on their ethnicity. Previous inquiries in the UK have suggested that the NHS is institutionally racist (Blofeld et al, 2003). Some groups, for example those from African Caribbean or Aboriginal descent, experience more coercive care and poor outcomes, including higher doses of [read the full story...]

Screening for mental health problems in the adult prison population

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On 14th May 2010, when Kenneth Clarke returned to the Ministry of Justice, the prison population in England and Wales was 85,009. When he had previously been Home Secretary in 1992-93, the average prison population had been 44,628 (Prison Briefing 2010). This represents a 90% increase in a period when crime rates were generally falling. The [read the full story...]

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Interventions for drug using offenders: What works in reducing drug use and criminal activity?

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It is estimated that between 10% (Gunn 1991) and 39% (Brooke 1996) of prisoners in the UK are dependent on illicit drugs; and that 14.5% of male and 31% of female prisoners have serious mental health problems (Steadman 2009). Drug use can be associated with many health, social and criminological consequences; and when mental health [read the full story...]

The largest ever study of self-harm in prisons: prevalence, risk, clustering and subsequent suicide

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New research published today in the Lancet shows that up to one in four women prisoners in England and Wales self-harm every year. The largest study of self-harm in prisons also reports that female prisoners are four times more likely to self-harm than male inmates. Previous systematic reviews have investigated self-harm in prisons (Lohner, 2007 and Dixon-Gordon, [read the full story...]

We ignore the rise of suicide in people with mental illness

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Despite public campaigns to combat stigma around mental illness, people with mental health problems still face ongoing discrimination. And while some sections of the media focus on mental illness in cases of violence, a rise in the number of people who are more of a risk to themselves goes unnoticed. We still find it difficult [read the full story...]

A Reasoning and Rehabilitation programme reduces verbal aggression and improves problem solving in offenders with psychosis

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Here at the Mental Elf we are always on the look out for research that extends trials into new areas, and offers practical benefits to people recovering from mental illness. Within psychiatric wards violence and challenging behaviour can be extremely distressing, with a 2007 Healthcare Commission report finding that over half of staff and almost half of [read the full story...]