In a letter to Rachel Martin, host of NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday," APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D., wrote: "While it is an unfortunate truth that there is a serious need for better mental health care in America, and many with mental illness end up in prison, Mr. Keene’s insinuation that the mentally ill pose a greater risk of violence than the general population is just plain wrong. More than 90 percent of violent acts are committed by people without a mental illness, and a majority of the mentally ill people in prison are incarcerated for nonviolent crimes. Mentally ill individuals are far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. In the current debate on reducing gun-related violence, one should not make people with serious mental illnesses a convenient target of attack."
Jeste called on Martin to help end the stigma against people with mental illness by acknowledging his letter on the air "in order to give hope to the nearly one-fifth of your listenership who struggle every day with a mental illness."
The full content of Jeste's letter to Martin can be accessed here.