Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Keeping children safe

As a community tries to understand the shocking deaths of three children at the hands of their own mother, today’s Deseret Morning News reports on the link between severe mental illness and filicide:

In the medical community, the practice of parents killing their children is known as filicide. A study printed in a 2005 Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law article found about 2 percent of homicides are filicides.

Another study found about 40 percent of filicidal parents previously had been treated for psychosis, but about 75 percent likely were suffering from symptoms of mental illness.

While people who are being treated for their severe mental illness are no more violent than the general population, those who are not properly treated for their symptoms do pose a greater risk to themselves, others and, sadly, even their own children.

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