This study investigates how perceptions of radicalisation and co-occurring mental health issues differ between mental health care and the security domain, and how these perceptions affect intersectoral collaboration. It is generally thought that intersectoral collaboration is a useful strategy for preventing radicalisation and terrorism, especially when it concerns radicalised persons with mental health issues. It is not clear, however, what perceptions professionals have of radicalisation and collaboration with other disciplines. Data was obtained from focus groups and individual interviews with practitioners and trainers from mental health care and the security domain in the Netherlands.
The results show a lack of knowledge about radicalisation in mental health care, whereas in the security domain, there is little understanding of mental health issues. This leads to a mad-bad dichotomy which has a negative effect on collaboration and risk management. Improvement of the intersectoral collaboration by cross-domain familiarization, and strengthening of trust and mutual understanding, should begin with the basic training of professionals in both domains.
The Care and Safety Houses in the Netherlands offer a sound base for intersectoral collaboration. Future professionals from different domains ought to be familiarized with each other’s possibilities,
limitations, tasks, and roles.