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prevent violence at the social level


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Seventeen people were killed and several others injured in a Parkland, Florida, high school in the 30th mass shooting of the year. The president tweeted: “There are so many indications that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed. … Such incidents should always be repeatedly reported to the authorities!” In a subsequent speech, he said: “We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help keep our schools safe and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”

After the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting fell last, he was more outspoken: “It’s not a gun situation. … It’s a mental health problem at the highest level.”

There is certainly a great need to strengthen mental health services, but they should not detract from the real solution to the social disorder i.e. violence.

More than 15 years ago, I had the rare privilege of participating in the launch of the World Health Organization’s “World Report on Violence and Health” as a psychiatrist, which has revolutionized the prevention of violence around the world through public health approaches. helped in Since applying the ecological model to violence, we have found that social, cultural, economic and environmental factors are far more reliable predictors of violence than individual factors. It is foolish to try to predict violent behavior in individuals, because when and how violence occurs depends largely on situational factors, state of mind, social support, environment, and access to weapons. Probability is more accurate in terms of a long-term process, whereas rates of violence in society are almost entirely predictable and preventable.

What do we mean by this? Where social trends and epidemics are concerned, individual characteristics tell us little, while social conditions tell us much: 30 years of intense research has revealed much for us in terms of preventing violence. What we can do to treat one person at a time is certainly important but limited, while there is much we can do to prevent a great deal of suffering and tragedy at very little cost. The World Health Organization and two United Nations bodies documented, for example, how 133 countries changed policies, established laws, offered services, strengthened law enforcement, and reduced the global murder rate to 16 percent over 12 years. programs have been implemented to reduce

gun control and gun rights cartoon

First, we should not associate mental illness with violence. Mentally ill individuals tend to be no more violent than the general population, and even where they are violent, the actions themselves stem from more social causes, such as substance abuse or the use of social networks. Deficiency, as compared to a specific mental disorder.

Nor is it useful to just blame the person. The individual certainly has a role to play in carrying out the act, but it is also part of a cycle of violence where the perpetrator is almost always the victim of trauma and stress. Social and cultural norms are highly influential, such as the acceptance or glorification of violence and extremist ideologies. However, the most powerful predictors are almost all socio-economic policy-based: at the social level, rates of violence rise and fall in the same way as rates of inequality.

Second, as horrific as mass murders are, they account for only a fraction of murder victims in America. More than 90 percent are killed in single-victim homicides, and these are “normalized” as a part of the normal circumstances of our lives. So, if we want to reduce the number of violent deaths, we need to pay more attention to the 160 people who are lost in violence every day, mostly hidden from public view.

Third, although its effects are poorly recognized by many, structural violence is an important concept. It refers to the avoidable limits that societies impose on groups of people, which may be of a political, economic, religious, cultural or legal nature, and usually arise in institutions that exercise the power of particular subjects. Huh.

There’s a reason we call it “violence”: it proves to be the deadliest. Structural violence causes more than 10 times the rates of suicide, homicide, mass murder and war deaths combined. And because these boundaries are embedded within social structures, it is not uncommon for people to see them as nothing more than the normal problems they face in the course of their daily lives.

Structural violence can be depicted as a hypothetical situation where people are in dire need of health care, education, political power or legal aid, but cannot access them easily due to restrictions in the current social system. Unlike more explicit forms of violence, where one person or group of individuals cause physical harm to another person or group, structural violence occurs in a fraudulent manner without notice. It is also the most powerful and immediate cause of many other forms of violence, including gun violence.

Individuals should not be considered in isolation. Everyone is part of an ecology, and the most effective way to prevent personal violence is to take care of society before it even becomes an issue. A correct understanding of the problem is paramount in providing effective, appropriate care.

That the National Rifle Association blocked the nation’s public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from funding gun research for more than two decades was perhaps the most damaging effect of all. that the American Psychiatric Association has banned psychiatrists from educating the public in major public speeches about the dangers of a powerful leader’s endorsement of violence, and how this could lay the groundwork for a culture that could be plagued by an epidemic of violence. gives rise to, possibly adding to the dangers.

The deadliest violence is silence. Therefore, while responding to urgent needs, we must also work towards fixing the larger social, cultural, economic and even political systems that contribute to the poor state of collective health. Policies that prevent violence not only save lives, suffering, medical and mental health expenses and criminal justice expenses, but also increase unity and integration in our communities, society and nation. So we should understand violence holistically and stop it as our problem, because we are all responsible.



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