Friday, 23 August 2013

The Mental Health Young Men Gangs

This is the suggestion of new research led by Queen Mary, University of London, which surveyed 4,664 UK males aged 18 to 34 and looked at measures of psychiatric illness, violence and gang membership.
It was found that such are the high levels of psychiatric illness among this demographic, that a heavy burden is being placed on mental health services as a result.
Indeed, the findings revealed gang members and violent males are considerably more likely to suffer from a mental disorder or require the assistance of psychiatric services compared to men who do not take part in such activity.

Professor Jeremy Coid, Director of the Forensic Psychiatry Research Unit at the university, said: "It is probable that, among gang members, high levels of anxiety disorder and psychosis were explained by post-traumatic stress disorder, the most frequent psychiatric outcome of exposure to violence."
Dr Ian Gargan C Psychol, the chair of our Division of Forensic Psychology, comments:
"Google Ideas established a 'Summit Against Violent Extremism' a number if years ago. The purpose of this summit was for ex-gang members to describe their experiences while reconciling with victims of violent extremism.

"I was asked to provide psychology support during the summit for those who were upset, despondent and traumatised by talking as well as re-experiencing emotions associated with violence. It was an inspiring and truly educational experience while clinically challenging."

"It is clear that childhood and teenager experiences of loss, poor identity and trauma contributed to many individuals decisions to join hangs. That trauma was them compounded due to the witnessing and perpetration of violence against others while trying to confirm despite emotional conflict. These 'gang' experiences exacerbated existing psychological challenges and fuelled developing psychopathology.

"Those who left the gangs had done very well and were happier people, but only with significant support from family, friends and mental health professionals.

"Pre-gang development is likely to have initiated psychology disharmony contribution to various mental difficulties. The gang membership served to exacerbate the psychopathology.
"I wrote a paper about the experience which is available in the Journal of Aggression, Conflict Resolution and Peace."


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