Comparison with Community Psychology and Public Health

1041 words 5 pages
The American Heritage Medical dictionary (Website one, 2007) defines community psychology (CP) as “the application of psychology to community programs for the prevention of mental health disorders and the promotion of mental health.” Public health (PH) on the other hand is defined as “the science and practice of protecting and improving the health of a community as by preventative medicine; health education; control of communicable diseases; application of sanitary measures and monitoring of environmental hazards (website two, 2007).” Both approaches have its own merits that set it apart from the other and similarities that provide common ground from which both can work in tandem. It is the aim of this assignment to compare
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It is further stated that prevention within CP has three levels to prevention: primary, secondary and tertiary; which looks at groups at high risk for mental illness, identifying and treating mental illness at the earliest and to minimize the disability caused by providing adequate aftercare, respectively. This creates a safety net for those affected by mental illness. Gilbert (1995) states that a central aim of PH is to change human behaviour, PH looks at health problems in context of the affected community, namely the behavioral and social context. PH also looks at the effects of social and environmental factors and it understands that government needs to play a role in solving the public health problem. Gilbert (1995) further states that due to the number of incurable diseases that affect our communities, diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cholera and cancer, there has been a movement towards prevention and the promotion of good health. Examples of this could be the HIVictory campaign that uses media to educate and inform or the distribution of free choice condoms to the community to make it easily assessable to individuals. Conclusion Both approaches has its limitations, as with all things, but these two approaches have the ability to lend itself to each other and create a unified approach that could really create a movement that could successfully


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