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National Empowerment Center Mourns the Newtown School Shooting, Calls for Uncoupling Violence and Mental Health Issues

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Empowerment Center (NEC) wishes to express deep sympathy to all the families and friends of the victims of the unconscionable tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012. "Words cannot convey the horror of the senseless loss of so many innocent young lives and the lives of the heroic adults who tried to save them," said Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., a co-founder of the NEC. "There is an understandable national outcry for answers, and demands for policy changes to prevent more such violent outbreaks in our society. Yet simplistic calls for more 'mental health' treatment for individuals ignore the complexity of the problems we face as a nation," Dr. Fisher said.

There is no evidence of increased violence among those with mental health issues; indeed, individuals with mental health conditions are more likely to be the victims than the perpetrators of violence. (One study found that, in a recent year, such individuals were nearly 12 times as likely as the general population to be the victims of violent crime.)

"Tragedies such as Newtown's are an outgrowth of a culture of violence in which guns are glorified in media and entertainment and weapons are accessed with ease," Dr. Fisher said. "In addition, we view these acts as inextricably linked to the unraveling of our social fabric and the disintegration of communities and families. We believe that social and health policy should be aimed at community-based, peer-run programs supporting providers, families, and communities to address trauma and to promote connected communities of support, tolerance, and understanding."

Please see the links below for more critical perspectives on the Newtown school shootings.

The mission of the National Empowerment Center is "to carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing to people with lived experience with mental health issues, trauma, and and/or extreme states."

CONTACT: Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., 1-800-POWER2U (1-800-769-3728),

SOURCE National Empowerment Center

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