Preventive psychiatry 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.
Preventive measures have been found to be effective in reducing incidence and disability in a wide range of mental illnesses such as depression, psychosis, anxiety and conduct disorders. The need of the hour is to translate advances in our understanding of mental illness into effective intervention programs for the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of positive mental health.
As in other public health endeavors, the practice of preventive psychiatry requires collaboration with allied disciplines - including political, sociological, psychological, educational, psychotherapeutic, biochemical, pharmacologic, nursing, and others.
Preventive psychiatry is defined as the work of keeping healthy people healthy, from a psychiatric point of view. Primary preventive services range in content from experiential to organic.
Many approaches to primary prevention of mental illness are developing simultaneously: biologic, psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, family, cultural, sociologic, political, and systems.