Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 392–398 | Cite as

The role of folk healers in Community Mental Health services

  • Pedro Ruiz
  • John Langrod
Articles

Abstract

This paper deals with the relationship between sociocultural factors and psychopathology in Hispanic groups in a disadvantaged urban area. The data were drawn from a 6-year collaborative undertaking between the Lincoln Community Mental Health Center and two local spiritualistic centers in the Southeast Bronx, New York. Comparisons are offered between classical mental health personnel and indigenous folk healers with emphasis on terminology, means of communication, and diagnosis techniques, as well as the utilization of social behavior and moral values. Relevant inferences are drawn regarding the broader relationship between religion and psychiatry. The importance of understanding and of utilization of local folk resources in the planning and implementation of mental health services in urban ghettos is documented.

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro Ruiz
    • 1
  • John Langrod
    • 1
  1. 1.Albert Einstein College of Medicine, BronxBronx

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