Assessing and managing risk of violence in early psychosis

The overwhelming majority (approximately 90%) of people who experience mental ill‑health are not violent. Nonetheless, the rates of general violence in people with psychosis are estimated to be 4–5 times higher than the general population. Since rates of offending in the general community are highest during adolescence and early adulthood, young people with early psychosis may be particularly at risk of violence or offending. However, these risks can be reduced and effectively managed in treatment by targeting relevant risk and protective factors (e.g. substance use, medication adherence, employment or interpersonal relationships).

This clinical practice point is designed to help clinicians who work with young people with early psychosis to understand:

  • Why rates of violent offending are higher among people with psychosis

  • The basic principles of assessing and managing risk of violence, and how to apply these in clinical practice

  • Service models for assessing and managing risk of violence in early psychosis settings.


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