A Comparison of Community Psychology and Public Health

1179 Words Sep 12th, 2013 5 Pages
A COMPARISON OF COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH.

In this assignment the key differences and similarities of community psychology and the public health approach will be examined and critically compared. Community Psychology is a branch of psychology which is concerned primarily with achieving positive mental health in the broader context of the community rather than the individual. Public health is primarily concerned and focused on changing behaviours within the context of the public in order to lower the incidence of disease and lower the workload placed on professional medical practitioners.

Community psychology is a relatively new field as far as the behaviour sciences go and was only established as a solution to the
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Many changes have occurred over the years with shifts from sanitary science to social medicine, community health and finally a new socio-ecological approach which incorporates many different aspects of several scientific disciplines. Public health has become a multi-causal or multi-factorial approach as there was a need to address many different aspects of disease, disease prevention, social and political influences and many other variables.

Public health can now deal with community health and prevention, individual care and treatment as well as broader political and economic situations such as air pollution. Public health’s main concern is with disease prevention and many health care organisations are now practicing preventative medicine in order to maintain this. The ultimate focus of this approach has shifted from disease treatment and crisis management to focusing on health in general and how to improve this concept throughout the community.

Both community psychology and public health arose from previous inferior systems of thinking and have been revised in order to more effectively deal with modern concerns and issues. As mentioned public health developed from the narrow bio-medical model and later adopted a new socio-ecological approach, which now acknowledges the impact of the environment and the relationship the individual experiences within it. Community psychology developed from a one-to-one treatment approach to an approach which
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