topics Policy Research Severe Violence Trends

Severe Violence Trends

The research is clear that severe mental illness alone is not a good predictor of violence. A large-scale, multi-year epidemiological study found that people who only had a severe mental illness and did not have a co-occurring substance abuse condition or a history of violence had less than a 2% probability of engaging in any type of violence over a two to three year period, about the same as the general population.

In September 2018, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute provided an updated quantitative perspective on the prevalence of deaths that have resulted from mass public shootings, including school shootings, and from deaths associated with murder and suicide, which occur with much greater frequency.

We first compare historical trends in the annual murder, suicide, and mass public shooting rates. These comparisons show that while suicide rates are historically high, murder rates are low by historical standards, in terms of the number of deaths per 100,000 people. We also show that deaths from mass public shootings are so comparatively rare that there is not a statistically meaningful trend discernible.

View or download the full white paper Severe Violence Trends: Suicide, Murder, Mass Shootings, School Shootings.