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New Channel 15 Finds Out:

posted Dec 1, 2015, 8:44 AM by Website Director   [ updated Dec 1, 2015, 8:51 AM ]
It’s estimated only three to five percent of violent acts are committed by someone with a serious mental illness. A person suffering from a mental illness is also more likely to become a victim of violence than they are to commit a violent act.

“We’re talking about a very small section of people with mental illness who have gone out and been violent to other people,” Ted Coburn, the president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Fort Wayne, said. “If you have a serious mental illness, you’re more likely to hurt yourself than another person.”

Every year the number of suicides far outnumber the homicides in the United States. Coburn said there are usually around 15,000 homicides nationwide compared to 35,000 suicides. Some organizations cite as many as 41,000 suicides a year. In Allen County, so far this year, there have been 28 homicides and 36 suicides. Research from NAMI showed 90 percent of people who commit suicide had a mental illness.

“People do get better, but there needs to be help,” Coburn said.

Last year, one in five American adults had some kind of mental health issue. One in 25 lived with a serious mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.

Getting help and treatment, Coburn said, sometimes is a challenge. He said that while around 80 percent of people with a serious mental illness do find their way to treatment, in some cases, it takes up to a decade to get there.

By Published: November 18, 2015, 6:00 pm Updated: November 19, 2015, 5:51 pm