Violence towards people with mental illness: Assessment, risk factors, and management [2018]

Violence is an important problem for clinicians, for public health, and for victims. Aside from greater risk of perpetrating violence, people with mental illness are also more commonly victimized than the general population. However, guidance on the assessment and management of violent victimization in clinical settings is limited.

We carried out a review and consolidation of clinical and research literature on violent victimization in people with mental illness.

Assessment of mental state in someone who has been victimized should evaluate both historical factors (such as pattern, timing, perpetrator characteristics, and contextual factors) and clinical factors (including affective and cognitive changes).

Concerted clinical and policy attention to factors that might increase vulnerability, such as alcohol use, lack of support, and the social environment, could improve outcomes.

Vishal Bhavsar MRCPsych, DLSHTM, PhD Dinesh Bhugra FRCPsych, PhD

Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 07 August 2018