HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » N Eng J Med (1-28-13): Si...

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:20 PM

N Eng J Med (1-28-13): Since Newtown, 76.9% in US unwilling to have mentally ill person a neighbor

Nearly two months after the Newtown school massacre, there remains no confirmation that Adam Lanza was mentally ill. Nonetheless, public and political attention has coalesced around the view that the 'seriously' mentally ill should be the focus of solving the ‘people problem’ behind gun violence. This perception does not comport with the prevailing beliefs of experts on violence by the mentally ill, who argue that this focus on serious mental illness is misplaced and will do little to reduce gun violence. Experts point to other factors particularly intoxication and alcohol and drug abuse as more important.

The data presented below is exerpted from a table partially summarizing a survey that the New England Journal of Medicine’s just published on public attitudes about mental illness and gun control which may be helpful in understanding both American sentiments about mental illness and the concerns of persons interested in shielding from discrimination the mentally ill.

It suggests that Americans hold ambivalent opinions regarding mental illness, but by large margins prefer distancing themselves from the mentally ill in the work place and neighborly associations.

It also suggests that people have less belief in the importance of substance abuse as a contributor to social violence and and support addressing it less than mental illness. That result is inverted with respect to known statistical contributions of substance abuse and mental illness to social violence.

----------------------------------------------
Link to NEJM article:
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1300512?query=featured_home&

The following is exerpted from Table 2. In this data, experience with mental illness means that one of the following--the respondent, a family member, relative or close friend--had been hospitalized or counseled for mental illness OR had received a prescription drug to treat mental health or drug or alcohol abuse. The term ‘serious mental illness’ was not defined for the participants. The survey was given between 2 Jan and 14 Jan, overall N = 1530, significance of difference in comparison of experienced and unexperienced respondents, * p< 0.05., ** p<0.001.


People with serious mental illness are, by far, more dangerous than the general population? ( % agree)
Overall:45.6
With experience (n=752): 44.8
Sans experience (n=765): 46.3

Locating a group home or apartment for people with mental illness in a residential neighborhood
endangers the local residents? (% agree)
Overall: 32.8
With experience: 30.1
Sans experience: 33.5

Would you be willing to have a person with serious mental illness start working closely with you on a job? (% willing)
Overall: 28.6
With experience: 35.2
Sans experience: 22.0 ** (on edit I had these reversed as first posted)

Would you be willing to have a person with a serious mental illness as a neighbor? (% willing)
Overall: 33.1
With experience (n=752): 39.9
Sans experience (n=765): 26.3 **

Would you like to see more gov. spending on mental health treatment? (% more)
Overall:58.6
With experience (n=752): 68.6
Sans experience (n=765): 49.0 **

Do you favor more increasing gov. spending on drug and alcohol treatment? (% favor)
Overall:38.5
With experience (n=752): 45.4
Sans experience (n=765): 32.2 **

Do you favor more gov. spending on mental health screening and treatment as a strategy to reduce gun violence? (% favor)
Overall: 60.6
With experience (n=752): 66.8
Sans experience (n=765): 54.8 **

Do you favor more gov. spending on drug and alcohol abuse screening and treatment as a strategy to reduce gun violence? (% favor)
Overall:45.7
With experience (n=752): 49.5
Sans experience (n=765): 41.7 *

Do you agree that discrimination against people with mental illness is a serious problem? (% agree)
Overall:58.2
With experience (n=752): 66.4
Sans experience (n=765): 49.8 **

Do you agree that most people with mental illness can, with treatment, get well and return to productive lives? (% agree)

Overall:55.9
With experience (n=752): 63.2
Sans experience (n=765): 48.9 **

9 replies, 831 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply N Eng J Med (1-28-13): Since Newtown, 76.9% in US unwilling to have mentally ill person a neighbor (Original post)
HereSince1628 Feb 2013 OP
dmallind Feb 2013 #1
HereSince1628 Feb 2013 #5
dmallind Feb 2013 #9
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2013 #2
slackmaster Feb 2013 #3
HereSince1628 Feb 2013 #4
thucythucy Feb 2013 #6
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #7
HereSince1628 Feb 2013 #8

Response to HereSince1628 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:26 PM

1. Look at the switch between these two......

Would you be willing to have a person with serious mental illness start working closely with you on a job? (% willing)
Overall: 28.6
With experience: 22.0
Sans experience: 35.2 **

Would you be willing to have a person with a serious mental illness as a neighbor? (% willing)
Overall: 33.1
With experience (n=752): 39.9
Sans experience (n=765): 26.3 **



So if you know a mentally ill person well, you are far more likely to be ok living in close proximity, but less likely to be ok working with them?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dmallind (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:43 PM

5. I had the % for the work closely question reversed...sorry

DU doesn't do tables very easily and I made the mistake.

I didn't notice I'd done that, mostly because I think the general issue that more than 70% of people don't want to work with a person with mental illness is pretty remarkable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:40 PM

9. Hah. No biggy. I was wracking my brain trying to think of why that would be. I'll stop now. ;) nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HereSince1628 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:28 PM

2. Show that the general public has NO idea of what "mental illness" means.

or mental health, come to that.
There is such a range of behaviors and problems that are defined as mental illness, from mild derpession to full blown pyschotic episodes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HereSince1628 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:29 PM

3. As if people had a clue what mental illness means, or an actual choice about their neighbors

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to slackmaster (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:33 PM

4. That all may be true, but politicians will make laws that meet public exectations.

Since Dec and Wayne Lapierre's missle against the 'lunatics and monsters among us', public sentiment is to do something serious about the mentally ill's access to guns...ignoring things like, for instance, gang violence, or even among contributors that are related to mental illness things such as alcohol and other substance abuse.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HereSince1628 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:07 PM

6. Has anyone done a poll asking

how comfortable people are living next door so someone who "collects" guns and owns Bushmasters and the like?

Or is this one of those studies the NRA would prefer not be funded?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HereSince1628 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:25 PM

7. "mental illness" is a very, very broad statement for this poll, imo

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:59 PM

8. Yes, that's true,

It's also true that what they wanted was public opinion.

The authors of this survery generally posed the questions as 'serious' mental illness, and as far as I could tell they left what that meant up to the respondents. Not wanting to prejudice opinion the authors might have made an intentional choice to leave it ambiguous. I can't say one way or the other.

Clearly that leaves open the question open as to what respondents might think the phrases 'serious mental illness' or 'mental illness may mean.

At the same time, that level of ambiguity is pretty typical of recent reporting and commentary regarding 'greater efforts to reduce access to guns for the mentally ill'. If you look at the media accounts of remarks of Mark and Gabby Giffords, Barbara Boxer, Wayne Lapierre, the US Mayors Association, etc, as well as VP Biden and President Obama you'll see the same lack of definition.

I do find that troubling when the people being ambiguous are the ones who are influencing, writing, and deciding on the adoption of new law and policy.





Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread