CBS News covered the story about Dr. Wayne S. Fenton, who appears to have been murdered by a patient he was seeing in his private practice. Dr. Fenton was an extremely important person in developing treatments for people with schizophrenia, and was associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
“He was without question one of the nation’s experts in schizophrenia,” said Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
Insel said Fenton was leading a research effort to help make it possible for people with severe psychiatric disease to function in the community.”
The tragic event highlights how dangerous beling involved in a helping profession can be. I was unable to locate any reliable statistics, but assaults against mental health professionals by clients is a concern that is addressed in many training programs. Unfortunately there is not a simple solution since those prone to violence are often those in the most need.