Mental Health Care — The Role of Non-Medical Community Institutions: A Philippine Experience

  • Lourdes Ladrido-Ignacio


Mental health care relies heavily on the network of relationships that exist within the immediate and wider social group. When mental illness occurs, such care is influenced by the perceptions and reactions of the patient’s family, those of the community at large as well as specifically those of relevant community agents, health and social workers, religious leaders, the police, etc., whose interventions need to be mobilized. Such a network of human relationships is crucial in the face of manpower, financial and attitudinal constraints to mental health care presently existing in developing countries. In these countries, it has been the prevailing opinion that it is more appropriate to mobilize existing community institutions to respond to the mental health problems of the community members rather than initiate new and specialized ones. To accomplish this, the community must be able to identify not only those institutions which can play a significant role in the development of a support network for mentally disturbed individuals, but also identify strategies to mobilize the specific institutions and their resources toward addressing the mental health problems of the community members as a priority. It is vital that this is recognized and accepted by existing care givers entrusted with mental health care in the community.


Mental Health Health Worker Mental Health Problem Mental Health Care Prevailing Opinion 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lourdes Ladrido-Ignacio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryPhilippines Center for the Health SciencesPhilippines General Hospital, Wd. 21, University of the PhilippinesManilaPhilippines

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