oa South African Medical Journal - Die taak van die sielkunde in die bevordering van geestesgesondheid*
*Referaat gelewer op die Jaarvergadering van die Nasionale Raad vir Geestesgesondheid te Pretoria, 11 September 1951. The share of psychology in the task of promoting mental health is closely connected with the development of new concepts and new insight into the problem of health in general. Modern concepts have given rise to two movements: (a) improvement and expansion of medical training.(b) Co-ordination of all auxiliary medical services including clinical psychology. Fundamental facts. (a) Mental health is not an independent branch but an aspect of general health. (b) No medical doctor, however well qualified, is able to shoulder single-handed the responsibility of health in all its aspects. Efficient handling of the problem of mental health requires teamwork in which at least the following five professions should be combined: medicine, psychiatry, clinical psychology, sociology and education. Practical difficulties in teamwork. (a) responsibility for the team: as the medical doctor is the best equipped to assume the legal and moral responsibility for the welfare of the patient, he should also assume responsibility for the team as a whole. (b) Overlapping of psychiatrist and psychologist: in spite of a certain amount of overlap, there is one field in which only the psychiatrist is qualified to render the best service, viz. serious cases requiring medical and physical methods of treatment; and another field in which only the clinical psychologist is qualified to render the best service. viz. cases of minor maladjustment and psycho-diagnostic testing. Fundamental principles of promoting mental health in the community. (a) Concentration on methods of building up resistance to mental ill-health especially through character and personality education at home and in school. (b) Removal of unhealthy environmental conditions which tend to enhance the incidence of mental ill-health.
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