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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-21

“A person is a person through other persons”:A social psychiatry manifesto for the 21st century


Department of Psychiatry, Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal (IUSMM); Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal; Montreal, Canada; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA; President, Canadian Association of Social Psychiatry

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Vincenzo Di Nicola
Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal, 7401, Rue Hochelaga, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/WSP.WSP_11_19

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A critical issue for our field is how to define contemporary social psychiatry for our times. In this article, I address this definitional task by breaking it down into three major questions for social psychiatry and conclude with a call for action, a manifesto for the 21st century social psychiatry: (1) What is social about psychiatry? I address definitional problems that arise, such as binary thinking, and the need for a common language. (2) What are the theory and practice of social psychiatry? Issues include social psychiatry's core principles, values, and operational criteria; the social determinants of health and the Global Mental Health (GMH) Movement; and the need for translational research. This part of the review establishes the minimal criteria for a coherent theory of social psychiatry and the view of persons that emerges from such a theory, the social self. (3) Why the time has come for a manifesto for social psychiatry. I outline the parameters for a theory of social psychiatry, based on both the social self and the social determinants of health, to offer an inclusive social definition of health, concluding with a call for action, a manifesto for the 21st century social psychiatry.


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