APA Extends Sympathy to Victims of Texas Church Shooting; Decries Link to Mental Health

ARLINGTON, Va. — Today the American Psychiatric Association (APA) issued the following statement from its CEO and Medical Director, Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., in reaction to the deadly shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of 26 Americans and injured 20 more:

“We are deeply saddened by the senseless violence in a house of worship this weekend. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims, the families, and the community of this tragedy. The president and lawmakers have made comments associating acts of violence with mental illness. Research has consistently shown that people with mental illness are not more likely to be perpetrators of violence, but more likely to be victims. If lawmakers believe it is a mental health issue why are they not seeking to ensure that more resources are being put into treating those with mental health issues? Keeping the essential health benefits of mental health in legislation would begin that process of treatment for all. More designated funding should be appropriated to the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health to focus on new research to help increase new knowledge on how to prevent, treat, and cure mental illness and substance use disorders. In addition, ensuring that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use has the increased resources to help all the people who live with mental illness and substance use disorders every day, to fund the prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery services. APA calls on the administration, the Congress, and state legislators to take needed steps to ensure that access to mental health programs remain intact, so people with mental illness and substance use disorders are getting the care they need. We also request that lawmakers not perpetuate stigma by making premature statements. The American Psychiatric Association stands ready to help you achieve that goal.”

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

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