Psychology in Illness Prevention and Health Promotion


The field of psychology correlates with the conscious and unconscious behaviour dictated by feelings, emotions, experiences, and thoughts. This is why the domain is so broad and can be applied in multiple different areas of life, starting with business and following with socio-economic factors. However, it is certain that certain roles correlating with psychology are more primary than others. In this paper, the role of psychology will be illustrated as a crucial aspect of illness prevention and health promotion both from a clinical standpoint as well as community well-being.

Diagnostics Technique and Treatment

In order for an issue to be mitigated, it is important to look at the causes, triggers, and source of the problem, which is why diagnostics are vital. An example of the importance of diagnostics is illustrated in clinical psychology, specifically, suicide prevention. Researchers highlight the role of psychologists when it comes to preventing people with mental problems from taking their lives first through diagnostics and then treatment (Westefeld, 2019). Thus, the field is based on the identification of the problem and the planning of coping skills to minimize risks. From a community standpoint, diagnostics and treatment are also applicable despite a potentially large demographic. This can be exemplified during the COVID-19 pandemic when psychologists have published a paper regarding depression management, ways to cope with anxiety, and prevention of feelings of isolation and symptoms of existing conditions (Kazak, 2020). Since diagnosing a condition is the first step toward effective management of symptoms, it is also crucial to highlight the importance of psychology in preventing high-risk episodes. This can be illustrated through schizophrenia diagnosis and subsequent treatment, which improves the livelihoods of individuals diagnosed with the condition and gives them opportunities to be active members of society (Larsson & Loewenthal, 2018). One may argue that diagnostics is not the primary role of psychology, yet as it directly correlates with treatment, its role is certain.

Psychology as Prevention

As mentioned prior, prevention is essential since it reduces risks correlating with certain psychological phenomena and conditions that can be both individual and collective. For example, researchers highlight the importance of community prevention of crimes and a lack of development through preventative mental health implementations (Townley et al., 2018). Prevention on a community level also correlates with the consideration of sociopolitics. Thus, a well-being intervention with the intent to prevent negative consequences of complex social issues may be effective in addressing the challenges for entire groups of people at once (Rhodes & Langtiw, 2018). Scheel et al. (2018) have also made the connection between social justice and preventative psychology. Thus, the field may address the issues that correlate with a particular minority, such as the remnants of trauma related to segregation and discrimination of African Americans, LGBT groups, and other demographics. Prevention is also widely applied to clinical psychology when it comes to minimization of risks correlating with certain conditions, ameliorating anxiety, and giving individuals skills that can be practically applied. For example, adults can benefit from preventative psychology when it comes to improving cognitive abilities (Tennant, 2019). While a counterargument may suggest prevention to be unnecessary and often unhelpful, the science of the human mind is crucial in addressing problems before they cause greater harm.


The role of psychology is best highlighted in illness prevention and health promotion. From a psychological standpoint, both communities and individuals would benefit from addressing the root of the problem before efficiently dealing with the symptoms. From a clinical standpoint, prevention may refer to the minimization of risks related to condition escalation and treatment to ameliorate symptoms. The community overview can be exemplified through crime prevention through psychological intervention and well-being implementation for the treatment of vulnerable communities.


Kazak, A. E. (2020). Psychology is an essential science: American psychologist highlights the role of psychology in understanding and addressing COVID-19. American Psychologist, 75(5), 605–606. Web.

Larsson, P., & Loewenthal, D. (2018). Post-existentialism, counselling psychology, and the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Post-Existentialism and the Psychological Therapies, 115–135. Web.

Rhodes, P., & Langtiw, C. (2018). Why clinical psychology needs to engage in community‐based approaches to mental health. Australian Psychologist, 53(5), 377–382. Web.

Scheel, M. J., Stabb, S. D., Cohn, T. J., Duan, C., & Sauer, E. M. (2018). Counseling psychology model training program. The Counseling Psychologist, 46(1), 6–49. Web.

Tennant, M. (2019). Psychology and adult learning. Routledge., 4. Web.

Townley, G., Brown, M., & Sylvestre, J. (2018). Community psychology and community mental health: A call for reengagement. American Journal of Community Psychology, 61(1-2), 3–9. Web.

Westefeld, J. S. (2019). Suicide prevention and psychology: A call to action. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 50(1), 1–10. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Psychology in Illness Prevention and Health Promotion." September 15, 2023.