Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Experts tell congress more mentally ill are victims than perpetrators of gun violence

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West Covina Democrat Grace Napolitano held briefing on mental illness and gun violence Tuesday, one of a series of hearings expeced on gun violence.

Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said the mentally ill are 11 times more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it. He said researchers are working on better tools to detect mental illness sooner.

"Just as in cardiology, where most cardiologists spend their time preventing heart attacks, you’ll see a point where most people who invest in mental health are investing their energy in preventing psychosis, so that you actually catch somebody long before they reach that crisis point where there is the highest likelihood of very bad outcomes."

Napolitano is sponsoring a bill to pay for on-site mental health services in schools.  Minnesota Senator Al Franken is sponsoring the Senate bill.

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