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This rush to judgment obscures the fact that violence against individuals with mental health problems is a chronic problem causing ongoing fear, social isolation and a lack of confidence in those who are victimized. While it is not easy to overcome false, though deeply held, beliefs, it is essential that this false and misleading rush to stereotype those with a mental illness be confronted with facts. Otherwise, it will result in increased intolerance and potentially even violence toward the millions of Americans who currently struggle with a mental illness. Learning the facts about the true association between violent behavior and mental illness is a necessary and important first step in developing a realistic understanding of why some people choose to commit senseless acts of violence against others.

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