Susan Pinker, Globe & Mail. Jan. 17, 2011. Excerpts:One study, by Eric Elbogen and Sally Johnson at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, followed 35,000 people for five years and found that people with a history of mental illness were no more prone to violence than the average person – unless they also had a problem with alcohol or drugs. Oxford University psychiatry professor Seena Fazel and his colleagues analyzed 40 years of studies on interpersonal violence and found that severe mental illness doesn’t predict it. Substance abuse does.
So what can businesses do with this information? Any organization concerned about someone’s behaviour has a duty to offer professional assistance, not simply dismiss the person, Dr. Steiner says. “Someone should say, ‘We’re concerned about you. And we can set up some follow-up with a mental health professional.’”