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Stopping Violence: A National Priority
Dr. Kathryn Seifert, Trauma and Violence Expert Dr. Kathryn Seifert, Trauma and Violence Expert
Sailsbury, MD
Sunday, April 7, 2013

Are you worried?
 Lanza, Holmes, and Dylan and Klebold, Johnson and Seng Hui Cho brutally attacked and killed innocent men women and children in places where they should have had expectations of safety. Since 1982 there have been 62 mass shootings in 30 states according to Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map). More than ¾ of 143 guns were obtained legally. The majority of killers were white males.

Violence results when a person's problems exceed their ability to cope with them. They often have a combination of problems which may include but are not limited to mental health, substance abuse, lack of treatment, poor job skills, interpersonal problems, anger management problems, and a triggering stressors that damages their self-esteem.

What do we know about violence that will help us find solutions?

• The US has the highest rate of violence among all of the industrialized nations.

• Violence is an answer when people are not skilled in solving their problems by talking to other people to find solutions.

• Many children that grow up in violent homes and do not have someone to help them cope with trauma, have poorer coping skills and are at a higher risk for committing violent acts as they grow older.

• One in 5 people that visit a primary care physician are in need of mental health or substance abuse services.

• One in 5 children and teens in school need mental health or substance abuse services and they do not do well in school when they are struggling with untreated mental illness.

• Mentally ill people that are paranoid, abusing alcohol or drugs, have poor coping skills, violent communications, major life stressors, and are not in treatment for their illnesses are at higher risk to commit violent acts.

What can we do about it?

• Educate the public about, "It is OK to ask for help," See something, say something," and Mental health first aid.

• Make mental health, skill building, and substance abuse treatment and interventions readily available in schools, colleges, courts, and physician's offices

• Court order assessment and therapy for all family members in any home where there is domestic violence.

• Finance, encourage and support treatment services for anyone that appears to have major difficulties coping with the problems of everyday life and has mental health or substance abuse problems.

• Provide services in the least stigmatizing way possible.

• Create effective threat assessment tools and teams in every school, college, and public agency.

• Make the use of valid risk assessment tools more widespread.

• When people have threatened to harm themselves or others and are suspected of becoming dangerous, it must be easier to evaluate and provide them with medication, involuntarily, when needed.

What we do now to prevent violence is ineffective and far too expensive. We must change the way we do business when it comes to violence prevention. The research is very clear that addressing these issues before there is a terrible outcome is best for all.

 Dr. Kathryn Seifert, CEO of Eastern Shore Psychological Services, has worked for over 30 years in the areas of mental health, criminal justice, and addictions. Dr. Seifert has specialized in the assessment and treatment of individuals who are at risk for violence and who are emotionally disturbed, behaviorally disordered, victimized, delinquent, and/or have attachment problems. She has lectured nationally and provides training on the topics of “Assessing the Risk for Violence,” “Attachment Disorders,” and “Attachment, Violence & Assessment.” Her books are the award winning, How Children Become Violent, the Amazon Best Selling Book, Youth Violence, CARE2: Child and Adolescent Risk and Needs Evaluation, and Relaxation Journals and MP3’s. She testifies as an expert witness, lectures internationally and has appeared on CNN, Discovery ID, Fox News and a variety of local TV and radio networks. Her blog, Stop the Cycle, is on PsychologyToday.com. Dr. Seifert recently appeared on a panel discussion on Mental Health and Violence at University of Connecticut with Dr. Wang, the Deputy Director of NIMH, and Dr. Sugai, creator of PBIS. Vice President Biden and Secretary of Education Duncan also spoke at the conference.
News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Kathryn Seifert
Title: Founder
Group: ESPS & CARE2
Dateline: Salisbury, MD United States
Direct Phone: 443-754-1001
Main Phone: 4437541001
Cell Phone: 4437541001
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