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May 1969

Professional Role Development for Mental Health Tasks

Author Affiliations

Topeka, Kan
From the Department of Preventive Psychiatry and the Division of Social Science Research, Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kan.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(5):524-527. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740170028004

THE COMMUNITY psychiatry movement in the United States encompasses a wide variety of mental health practices and experimental programs.One of these involves the enlistment of nonpsychiatric professionals for mental health tasks. Efforts to enlist and train potential helpers such as general physicians, ministers, lawyers, public health nurses, teachers, welfare workers, probation officers, police and vocational counselors, highlight certain complicating issues which require serious attention if success is to be achieved. This discussion is based upon a recently completed four-year research study of ten mental health professionals' work with distressed families living in a low-income neighborhood. A major phase of the project was the development of techniques to assist families in making more constructive self-rehabilitative use of community resources and to assist community agency workers in understanding and more effectively serving their needy clients. Let us consider selected aspects of three issues pertinent to training for mental health work: motivation, goals,

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