Washington, DC — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today condemns the senseless loss of lives from gun violence that has become all too common in this country, most recently in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Gun violence is a public health crisis, and we must reduce the injuries and deaths that come from it, while promoting safe communities through funding of research on firearm violence and reform based on research.
Mental health programs are severely underfunded in this country and access to needed care is challenging for individuals and families. It is important to note that the overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent and far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators of violence. Rhetoric that argues otherwise will further stigmatize and interfere with people accessing needed treatment. Individuals can also be emboldened to act violently by the public discourse and divisive rhetoric.
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,500 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.