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Public Mental Health$
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William W. Eaton

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390445

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390445.001.0001

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The Perspectives of Psychiatry: The Public Health Approach

The Perspectives of Psychiatry: The Public Health Approach

(p.31) 2 The Perspectives of Psychiatry: The Public Health Approach
Public Mental Health

Paul R. Mchugh

Oxford University Press

Current efforts to improve the mental and behavioral well-being of the public confront an awkward but conspicuous problem. Although contemporary psychiatric epidemiologic research indicates that some kind of mental disorder afflicts more than 50% of the American people at some time in their lives, it fails to suggest any pathways for either preventing or remedying these matters. The reason why is because the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) functions as a field guide in which psychiatric diagnoses are made based on the clinical presentations rather than on any aspects of the generative nature of the disorders. The situation is ripe for change and this chapter demonstrates how the field of clinical psychiatry is ready to effect that change. It describes four perspectives that together represent a heuristic approach, which those at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health have suggested as a response to the current psychiatric nosology.

Keywords:   mental health, mental disorders, clinical presentations, psychiatric nosology

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