Vital Information on Families, Mental Health Disorders and Violence to Be Presented by Multifaceted Panel

PHILADELPHIA (5/23/13) – A knowledgeable panel will share critically important information about the “complicated” relationship among families, mental health conditions and violence on Thursday, May 30, 2013, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, Silberman Auditorium, 4200 Monument Road, Philadelphia. The free event – “Families, Mental Health Disorders & Violence: It’s Complicated! – The Mixed Roles of Family Members as Victims, Triggers, Early Warning Systems & Problem Solvers When It Comes to Violence by a Loved One” – including audience discussion, is sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP).


“Even though researchers note that the absolute risk of violence among individuals with mental health conditions as a group is very small, the violence that does occur is much more frequently against family members than strangers,” said Edie Mannion, who heads MHASP’s Training & Education Center, which organized the event. A MacArthur Foundation study found that 87 percent of violent acts by individuals with mental health conditions were directed against family members.


The event will include a panel discussion led by Mannion. Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, who represents the 194th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, will discuss her recent roundtable in Harrisburg on mental health and gun violence; Kamilah Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., associate medical director for child and adolescent services/physician advisor, Community Behavioral Health, will describe initiatives of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) that address this issue; and Jake Bowling, director of MHASP’s Advocacy Division, will provide context and policy solutions. Mannion will cover the family roles listed in the event’s title.


“Substance abuse is a key risk factor for violence,” Mannion said. Other risk factors include the family member’s hostility toward the person with the mental health disorder, the latter’s financial dependence on the family member, and mutual threats. Most violent acts occur in the home, she said.


The event is for families, agency administrators, legislators, behavioral health providers, victims’ assistance advocates, academicians/students, persons in recovery and concerned individuals, who will learn why they should care about this issue and what they can do about it. Free resources will also be available.


MHASP’s mission is to “promote groundbreaking ideas and create opportunities for resilience and recovery by applying the knowledge learned from the people we support, employ, and engage in transformative partnerships.”


Registration is preferred: please contact Edie Mannion, Director, Training & Education Center at the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 267-507-3863,


Contact: Edie Mannion, Director, Training & Education Center at the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 267-507-3863,