New community-based initiatives being developed to address violent extremism in the United States are utilizing mental health services and leadership. This article reviews current approaches to preventing violent extremism, the contribution that mental illness and psychosocial problems can make to violent extremism, and the rationale for integrating mental health strategies into preventing violent extremism. The authors describe a community-based targeted violence prevention model and the potential roles of mental health professionals. This model consists of a multidisciplinary team that assesses at-risk individuals with comprehensive threat and behavioral evaluations, arranges for ongoing support and treatment, conducts follow-up evaluations, and offers outreach, education, and resources for communities. This model would enable mental health professionals in local communities to play key roles in preventing violent extremism through their practice and leadership.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health