Please join me at their health policy forum to talk serious mental illness and crime. I’ll be on a panel with the LA County Sheriff Lee Baca and the chair of psychiatry at Stanford, Dr. Laura Roberts. The policy forum is open to the public and will be held this Thursday from 11:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M, at the Li Ka Shing Center.
Below is Keith’s blurb for the event.
The horrifying mass murders at theÂ Washington Navy YardÂ andÂ Sandy Hook Elementary SchoolÂ were both committed by individuals with long-standing mental-health problems.Â The eventsÂ galvanized a national discussion about how to improve the accessibility and quality ofÂ our mental-health system.
At the same time, these tragedies can paint in the mind of the public a false image of the mentally ill as universally violent and dangerous rather than human beings in need of assistance and compassionate care.Â That may account for why a shamefully large number of mentally ill people are behind bars.Â L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca has found himself heading whatÂ he callsÂ â€œthe nationâ€™s largest mental hospital:â€ The L.A. County Jail.
While protecting public safety is a critical concern, itâ€™s important to maintain perspective when analyzing the role of mental illness in violent crime.Â Harold Pollack, PhD,Â of the University of ChicagoÂ puts it this way:
Millions of Americans suffer from some form of severe mental illness, or SMI. Itâ€™s important to remember that the vast majority of these men and women have never committed a violent crime and never will commit one. Indeed, the mentally ill are often victims of violent crime, a social problem that has not received sufficient attention.
To dig into these important issues in a productive way,Â the medical schoolâ€™sÂ nextÂ Health Policy ForumÂ will be devoted to the topic â€œSerious Mental Illness: How can we balance public health and public safety?â€ Harold Pollack and Lee Baca will come to Stanford for the forum and will be joined by Laura Roberts, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The policy forum is open to the public and will be held this Thursday from 11:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M, at theÂ Li Ka Shing Center. If youâ€™re a local reader, we hope you can attend and join in the conversation.