Community and Preventive Approaches
12 Clinical Psychology
STEP 4 Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High
With deinstitutionalization came the problem of how to help patients released from mental hospitals and an ever-growing number of other people in need of aid in local communities. The vast increase in the homeless population, many of whom have symptoms of schizophrenia, has posed a problem that has not been solved. Yet these problems have led to the rise of a relatively new subfield of psychology, community psychology. Community psychologists aim to promote psychosocial change to prevent psychological disorders as well as to treat people with psychopathologies in their local communities.
As part of the community mental health movement of the 1960s, local clinics cropped up. With continued funding problems, these local clinics try to provide both treatment and preventive services. One of their major goals is to treat people with psychological problems to prevent them from getting worse and help them recover. They address unemployment, poverty, overcrowding, and other stressful social problems that can affect mental health. Other initiatives include prenatal and follow-up well-baby care, dissemination of information on sexually transmitted diseases, suicide prevention programs, child abuse prevention, and training of paraprofessionals to help community members cope with emergency situations. They hold free screenings for depression and anxiety, sponsor suicide hotlines, and provide outreach programs for at-risk children and teens.