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Psychiatry focusing on the detection, prevention, early treatment, and rehabilitation of patients with emotional disorders and social deviance as they develop in the community rather than as encountered one-on-one, in private practice, or at larger centralized psychiatric facilities; particular emphasis is placed on the social-interpersonal-environmental factors that contribute to mental illness.
In recent years, community mental health programs have been developed throughout the world. Basic training in clinical psychiatry is considered the best background for community work, if motivation and training are adequate to transfer basic goals from the individual or the family to a population group. At present there are many concepts in the field, but no uniformity in terminology, and this results in different uses of such concepts in particular aspects of therapy, practice or research.