Mental health professionals who work in psychiatric institutions often become a victim of violence caused by a patient. This violence can have severe consequences. Over one third of the respondents in this research, suffered from physical violence. One in seven victims needed more than one month to fully recover from the incident or was injured permanently.
Mental health professionals regularly encounter violence. 67 Percent of the 1534 mental health professionals who filled in the questionnaire were the victim of (the treat of) physical violence, caused by a patient, at least once in the past five years. Mental health professionals reported a total of 2648 incidents, this means an average of 1,7 violent incidents per respondent.
Nature of the violence
The reported incidents differ in nature and severity. Most of the incidents consisted of beating or kicking (889 times). Respondents also reported that they were the victim of attempted strangling (91 times) or to that they were stabbed with a weapon or object (11 times).
Almost half of the incidents led to physical injury or psychological damage for the victim. Bruising was the most reported injury. Biting wounds, fractures and burns were also reported. 38.6 Percent of the cases led to physical injury. 26.7 Percent led to psychological damage, fear or panic was mentioned most frequently.
For more results; see Factsheet 1