January 03, 2024

Ask the Expert April Header

Thursday, January 18, 2024, 4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

This webinar reviews the topic of violence and mental illness from an evidence-based framework. First, the webinar will highlight different ways that social stigma and cognitive bias fuel exaggerated beliefs about the link between violence and mental illness. Then, empirical research will be presented, demonstrating that the scientific link between violence and mental illness is weaker than commonly believed—numerous other risk factors are stronger predictors of violence. A key point is that overweighting mental illness as a risk factor means underweighting more robust risk factors, which are external (e.g., poverty, financial strain, inadequate social support), internal (e.g., being male, younger age, anger, substance abuse) or violence-defining (e.g., lacking empathy, gun access, espousing ideologies of hate and violence). Finally, promising approaches and interventions will be discussed for preventing violence and enhancing public safety.



Our Expert


Elbogen HeadshotEric Elbogen, Ph.D.  Professor of Psychiatry, Duke UniversityEric Elbogen is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine and a psychologist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He has done clinical work in mental health facilities for over thirty years and has conducted research at the intersection of law and mental health and authored over 200 scientific articles. He is board certified in forensic psychology and serves on the editorial boards of scholarly journals, including Law and Human Behavior and the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health.


NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).