In the early 2000s, I worked in community mental health in Portland, Oregon. I had the privilege of working with this amazing psychiatrist, Dr. Phil Shapiro, on an Assertive Community Treatment team. You can read an article about him here (on his website) or here (an article from the Oregonian, 2010).
At the time, he was working on this book called Healing Power: Ten Steps to Pain Management and Spiritual Evolution. He had groups that he did with clients in both community mental health and in the regular community (I attended!), all based on the program he outlined in his book.
He recently shared that his book and the subsequent workbook he published, are available for FREE from his new website. The books are available for download in text or audio format. What a gift! Please check out his new website to take a look and download these gems.
Thank you Dr. Shapiro, for your years of service and for making this work available to everyone!
As you all know, we had another mass shooting recently, this time close to home. Sadly, these incidents are becoming all too familiar. In the aftermath, questions are asked. Is this a gun issue? Is this a mental health issue? I only have to look at my Facebook feed to know that people are quite passionate about these issues, whatever their stance is. I am not here today to debate one side or the other or to provide solutions to a complex problem. I do want to begin a conversation however, about mental illness and violence. Spoiler alert—mental illness does NOT cause violence. Please inform yourselves, so that you can have the correct information when it comes to the relationship between mental health and violence.
What Americans Believe
Why We Believe It
What are the facts?
Why does it matter?
The next time you hear a report on the news, or have a conversation with a friend on this topic, if you notice that mental health is being blamed, maybe you can let the person know that mental illness does not cause violence. Thank you for doing your part in stopping the stigma surrounding mental health and violence.
Amber is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She offers counseling for individual adults and clinical supervision for social workers. For fun, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, researching genealogy, reading, and dragon boating.
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