The American Heritage Medical dictionary (Website one, 2007) defines community psychology (CP) as “the application of psychology to community programs for the prevention of mental health disorders and the promotion of mental health.” Public health (PH) on the other hand is defined as “the science and practice of protecting and improving the health of a community as by preventative medicine; health education; control of communicable diseases; application of sanitary measures and monitoring of environmental hazards (website two, 2007).” Both approaches have its own merits that set it apart from the other and similarities that provide common ground from which both can work in tandem. It is the aim of this assignment to compare and contrast CP to PH approach in terms of social problems. Firstly, by providing the premise from which each operates. Secondly, by providing the differences and similarities between these two approaches it is my objective that the strengths and weaknesses of each approach will be revealed. Premise of CP and PH
Within CP there are four models of classification, two of which are mentioned here. The Mental Health model sets its focus on “prevention, immunization against risk for mental health illness and skills enhancement.” Social Action model focuses on the “political mobilization and socio-economic” equality that is believed to be essential for good prosocial health (Tutorial letter 102, 2012, p.6). Although there are four classifications for PH they are not separate models. Rather each is expanded and improved from the last in principles and practices. An evolution in terms of identifying and delivering on the needs of the community, the current evolution is named the socio-ecological model. This is based on a “holistic understanding (tutorial letter 102, 2012, p.11),” whereby it takes into consideration the social and ecological influences that play an important role in shaping behaviours and principles of the community and...
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