Wakeup Call on Mental HealthAugust 16, 2016 |
by William Lawson
More than 30 years ago I published a paper that examined violent incidents involving African-American and white patients in an inpatient psychiatric facility. To the surprise of nearly everyone at the time, the study found African-Americans patients were less violent than whites. The study has been replicated multiple times, and the explanation was that African-American patients were more closely supervised, more likely to be put into restraints and given heavier doses of medication. In fact, the staff perceived the African-American patients as being more violent even though the evidence was to the contrary.