January 4, 2013
TO: Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Partners
FROM: Mark Hurst, MD, Medical Director, Ohio Department of Mental Health
TOPIC: Firearms and Mental Illness
A tragic event recently occurred in Connecticut when an individual killed 20 schoolchildren, six educators and his own mother before turning the gun on himself. Unfortunately, other similar events have occurred in recent years, including one last February at Chardon High School right here in Ohio. After these events, the mental state of the perpetrator is invariably called into question, leading to concerns about the tendency for violence among individuals with a mental illness. In some cases, it is clear that the perpetrator had a mental illness. In others, it is clear that he or she did not have a mental illness. In many situations, we simply do not know.
Photo: ODMH Medical Director Dr. Mark Hurst