SYSTEMIC THINKING AND ITS ROLE AS A BASIC & Practical Role in Mental Health Activities

S. A. Hosseini, MD


SYSTEMIC THINKING AND ITS ROLE AS A BASIC  & Practical Role in Mental Health Activities
Mental Health has two basic concepts:


1. Prevention of psychological disturbances, with three components (Primary, secondary and tertiary).



2. Promotion of mental health and development. Each of the above targets should cover 100% of the population–all the inhabitants of the globe. These aims may be considered rather ambitious, but the slogan “Mental Health for All; All for Mental Health” can solve the problem. In this trend, the role of intellectuals and official respondants is vital. Their negligence can harm society in an irreparable way, and they will be condemned by their consciences, by God, and courts may rise against them.

As mental health disturbances and problems are multifactorial, so, a multidimensional approach should cover all the related fields.


It seems that systemic thinking is the most effective strategy to understand and control mental health problems. Systemic thinking has been based on the general system theory which is the science of “wholeness”. A basic premise of system theory is that a phenomenon cannot be understood independently of the system of which it is a part. General system theory is also based on the assumption that an impact made on one component of the system affects the functioning of the total system. Systemic approach has been practically drawn to community psychiatry which has been named as a psychiatric revolution. Iran’s mental health program has been based on this approach and the integration of mental health into primary health care, and it can control our psycho-social problems in an ideal situation. Although our health network facilitates prevention and promotion aims of mental health, private activities, which are economically attractive to the staff are a big danger for the vital aims of the country’s mental health program. It seems that a realistic approach of the policy maker of the health system, legal confirmation of the network by parliament and reasonable payment for health activities as well as therapeutic ones can rescue the program. Otherwise, there is no room for optimism for the future of mental health in this country.


Key Words: Mental Health, System Theory, System Thinking,


Prevention, Promotion, Preventive Psychiatry, Community Mental


Health, Country Mental Health Program




*Professor of Psychiatry, Mental Health Expert, World Health


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