Clinical Services Addressing Violent Extremism: The Quebec Model

Rousseau, C., Frounfelker, R., Ngov, C., & Crocker, A. (2022, novembre)

International Journal of Forensic Mental Health


The association of ideologically motivated violence with mental health disorders raises spe-cific challenges for security agencies and clinical services. The aim of this paper is todescribe the clientele of a specialized intervention program based in Montreal, Quebec, interms of type of violent ideology and clinical presentation. We conducted a retrospectivechart review of 156 individuals referred for violent extremism who received clinical servicesbetween 2016 and 2021. Univariate statistics were used to present a description of clientsociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Roughly a third of clients referred for violentextremism presented non-ideologically based violence (32.6%), followed by 31.4% affiliatedwith far-right extremist ideology and over a quarter (25.6%) holding extremist views on gen-der. Over a third of these individuals had a stress-related (35.7%) and/or mood and anxietydisorder (36.9%), followed by 28% with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The majorityhad some previous contact with mental health services. A significant number of clients dis-playing extremist discourses and/or actions needed psychiatric services but often failed toreceive them because of the reluctance of clinicians to work with individuals perceived ashigh risk; in addition, individuals may be reluctant to engage in services perceived to bepart of a socio-political system they reject. Specialized services are important as a means toprovide mental health care to this group and also to develop knowledge and best practicesfor working with this clientele and provide consultation to mainstream mental health serviceproviders.


Violent extremism; clinicalservices; mental health care;specialized intervention