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DEBATE/PERSPECTIVE/VIEWPOINT
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-75

Preventive psychiatry: Current status in contemporary psychiatry


Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh Kumar Chadda
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_37_17

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Preventive psychiatry is one of the most ignored subdiscipline of psychiatry, which has got important role to play in the contemporary psychiatry. Mental disorders are very common with lifetime prevalence of about 25%, and tend to be chronic. Due to the stigma associated with mental disorders, lack of awareness, and also lack of adequate mental health resources, nearly 60%–80% of the persons suffering from mental disorders do not access mental health care services. Mental and substance use disorders have been identified as one of the major contributors to the disease-related burden and disability-adjusted life years. In this background, preventive psychiatry has an important role to play in public health sector. Since etiology of most of the mental disorders is not known, it is not possible to follow here the standard model of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of public health. A concept of universal, selective, and indicated prevention has been proposed in primary prevention. Preventive approaches in psychiatry focus on evidence-based risk and protective factors, promoting quality of life, reducing stressors, and improving resilience. Such interventions, when planned targeting at specific mental disorders, have a potential to prevent mental disorders. Thus, preventive psychiatry has a crucial role to play in mental health, considering the high prevalence of mental disorders, the associated disability and burden, and a great drain on human resources.


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