TAKEAWAY. Law enforcement professionals can help individuals who may be radicalizing to violence, but who have not engaged in criminal acts, by connecting them to mental health services.
THE NEED. Although there is no indication that violent extremists act out of mental illness, there is increasing evidence that in many cases youth who are radicalizing to violence experience poor psychological adjustment.
WHY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES? Mental health services may help to reduce vulnerability to violent extremism. Mental health services may also help connect alienated youth to different social supports, and/or re-engage these youth with their families. In addition, some mental health services can also help support families in learning how to reach out to, or stay connected with their children.
Weine, Stevan, B. Heidi Ellis, Ronald Haddad, Alisa B. Miller, Rebecca Lowenhaupt, and Chloe Polutnik. 2015. “Supporting A Multidisciplinary Approach to Violent Extremism: The Integration of Mental Health in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and What Law Enforcement Needs to Know." College Park, MD: START. http://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_LessonsLearnedfromMentalHealthAndEducation_LawEnforcementSummary_Oct2015.pdf