psychology is a branch of preventive or public health medicine. It aims to promote good mental health in individuals and to prevent the occurrence or reduce the incidence of psychiatric disease in a population. As in other public health endeavours, the practice of preventive psychiatry requires collaboration with allied disciplines – including political, sociological, psychological, educational, psychotherapeutic, biochemical, pharmacologic, nursing, and others.
In the experiential realm, educational and socially supportive services for prospective parents may serve as primary preventive psychiatric measures, sometimes with quantifiable outcomes such as reduced incidence of abusive behaviour.
Secondary Preventive Psychiatry is defined as the work of early detection and prompt treatment of psychiatric disorders. From a public health medicine point of view, the goal is to reduce the incidence of a disease (or diseases) in a population by intervening before the disease has become fully established and before it becomes difficult to eradicate or treat. Prevention of chronicity is a goal of secondary preventive psychiatry, and cure – where possible – is a goal. Secondary preventive efforts thus differ sharply in aim from primary preventive efforts, because disease is already present.