Nicole Hockley to Speak at "Undoing Destructive Myths", New Haven Mental Health Symposium

 The Unitarian Society of New Haven



Undoing False and Destructive Myths: The Connection between Mental Illness and Gun Violence is topic of symposium to be held SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 9 AM – 3 PM AT THE UNITARIAN OF NEW HAVEN, 700 HARTFORD TURNPIKE, HAMDEN


Symposium will explore how Connecticut citizens can build new relationships and community coalitions to dispel the myth that mental illness and gun violence go hand-in-hand.

For further information, please contact:  Claire Bien, 203 804-5507, clairebien1128@yahoocom; or Graziela Reis, (203) 824-2278,

Hamden, CT.  On Saturday, October 14, 2017, the Unitarian Society of New Haven will hold a symposium on mental health awareness to explore the truth behind the popular beliefs that mental illness and gun violence go hand in hand and that acts of mass violence are inevitably committed by “madmen.” In fact, the most rigorous, recent study found that only 4 percent of gun violence is caused by people with diagnosed mental illness, and people with mental illness are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators, and research suggests that suicide accounts for two-thirds of the 30,000 gun deaths each year in the U.S. Free-will donations will be gratefully accepted.

During the day, three expert panels will address the following questions:

  • Are people with mental illness at increased risk for violence?
  • Is it true that people with mental illness are at greater risk of suicide than homicide?
  • How do stigma and shame contribute to gun violence?
  • Can legislation and public health education reduce gun violence?

Panelists during the day include:  Dr. Larry Davidson, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Yale School of Medicine,  Scott Jackson, Commissioner, Department of Labor; former Chair, Sandy Hook Commission; Annita Perez Sawyer, PhD, Psychologist and Author; Paul Hammer, President, Bicycle Education, Entrepreneurship & Enrichment Programs, Person in Recovery; Nicole Hockley, Managing Director, Sandy Hook Commission; Emily McCave, PhD, LMSW, Associate Professor of Social Work at Quinnipiac University, Former President of the Southern CT Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer; Ann and Allie Nelson, Ann Nelson Advocacy, Yale Child Study Center; Robert Rudewicz, Talk Saves Lives-Firearms and Suicide Prevention & Question Persuade Refer Institute Gatekeeper Trainer, and former Hartford Police Officer; Trish Buchanan, Mental Health Advocate, Jonathan Perloe, Director, Programs and Communications, CT Against Gun Violence


The symposium is sponsored by the Unitarian Society of New Haven’s
Mental Health Awareness and Preventing Gun Violence Task Forces