Mental Illness and Gun Violence

A diagnosis of serious mental illness does not increase the risk of violence. Most people with mental illness never become violent and most gun violence is not caused by mental illness.

Only 4% of overall violence is associated with serious mental illness alone. Mental illness is a factor in only 2% of the gun vi

Reckless behavior, anger, traumatic life events such as job loss or divorce, and problems with alcohol use are stronger risk factors for gun violence. Not mental illness. 

Mental illness gun violence grahic

Resources on Mental Illness & Gun Violence

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund)

The Ed Fund was funded in 1978 as a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The Ed Fund develops and implements evidence-based policy advocacy campaigns about gun death and injury.

Fact Sheet on Guns, Public Health and Mental Illness Health-and-Mental Illness-1.pdflobal​

Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy thought and research. The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization.

National Academies Press

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) are distinctively qualified to provide nonpartisan, objective guidance for decision makers on pressing issues. From the time of their founding in 1863, they marshal the energy and intellect of the nation’s critical thinkers to respond to policy challenges with science, engineering, and medicine at their core. The National Academies Press (NAP) publishes authoritative reports issued by NASEM. 

Violence and Mental Health Report: Opportunities for Prevention and Early Detection: Proceedings of a Workshop

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

This is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).​

Health Education - Mental Health Public Information: Suicide Prevention Suicide in America: Frequently Asked Questions


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