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Health Journalism 2008: Violence and mental illness - How strong is the link?

After the Virginia Tech shooting, journalists must keep a step ahead of the common wisdom when covering stories about mentally ill people and violence. Is violence inevitable or an aberration among the mentally disabled? Can we predict who will become violent? What can be done to treat or restrain mentally ill but potentially violent individuals? A psychiatrist, a medical sociologist, and an advocate for the mentally ill clarify the facts and explicate the controversies.

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