Mental Health Professionals in the Public Arena
The Gulf War saw a sudden surge in the public exposure of mental health professionals. The print and electronic media alike were inundated with psychiatrics, psychologists, and social workers offering information, advice, and just plain opinions having to do with the many emotional issues raised by the war. Others staffed well-publicized telephone hotlines established to answer callers’ questions, calm their fears, and offer suggestions for handling the difficulties and dilemmas they encountered. Even as this was going on, though, there was a barrage of criticism from both laypersons and professionals about the role these practitioners played and the message they relayed. In retrospect, it became apparent that not all the implications of their conduct had been thought out and that, basically, no one had really given much consideration to the question of what the role of the mental health profession should be in a national crisis. This chapter will attempt to deal with the issue by looking closely at the various endeavors of the mental health profession during the war, focusing on contributions they made or did not make to public coping and morale.
KeywordsMental Health Mental Health Professional Learning Disabil Public Arena Mental Health Activity
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