By Matthew Smith, Ph.D.
September 19, 2018
After the Second World War, there was a pronounced shift in mental health
thinking towards seeing society, rather than the individual, as the focus of
psychiatric efforts, especially those aimed at preventing mental illness. As
the title of a 1950 collection of essays by American social scientist and
Rockefeller administrator, Lawrence K. Frank-Society as Patient-indicates,
many mental health professionals and academics believed that focusing only
on the individual was not only inefficient and costly, but also disregarded
broader truths about the nature of mental illness itself.