Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Perspective

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Perspective

Article excerpt

Few psychiatrists are focused on the public health maxim of "prevention, prevention, prevention." In fact, psychiatrists typically focus only on helping sick people, not preventing people from getting sick, so conversations about prevention often have little traction in the psychiatric brain.

Additionally, many psychiatrists are locked into the profession--and not the avocation--of psychiatry. In the profession, medicine is tied to money, and the sad reality is that psychiatrists don't get paid for prevention. If psychiatrists did too good a job of prevention, the profession could go out of business.

For these reasons, public health-minded psychiatrists interested in prevention face an uphill battle. Many community health and mental health centers have relegated themselves to providing services vs. promoting public health and prevention.

As such, interventions designed to promote the mental wellness of children at risk do not fit into most community health centers' missions, and they won't until so-called departments of public health begin to provide support and resources for prevention as well as direct service. It is also important for schools of public health to begin to look beyond their epidemiology studies and focus on how to prevent some of the illnesses they are measuring. …

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