Health psicology: to promote the prevention or to save public money?
I don’t know whether you know, but for some years a new branch of psychology has been developing called ‘Health Psychology’. It is an area developing rapidly, born in the USA but also vigorously present here. Although it is concerned with aspects linked to illness and therapy- for example psychological assistance for health professionals, the ill, families, linking themselves in particular to serious illnesses such as cancer or in moments of crisis- the most interesting of this recent psychological development is in reality something else.
Health Psychology is in fact rapidly becoming a source of inspiration and consultation for institutions and administrations for all concerning educating citizens to take responsibility for their own health, accepting a real sense of responsibility in preventing serious situations. In fact welfare is no longer able to economically support the care of citizens (in the name of those who pay more tax, moreover) and looks to therefore avoid becoming overweight, having cholesterol problems, smoking, not exercising, preventing AIDS, drug use, gambling and also becoming dependent on consumerism.
All beautiful things, obviously, and approving even if a subtle doubt remains that all of this is not the fruit of a genuine interest in our health, but a way of reducing state costs dressing it up as ‘self-help’ to individual citizens.. lacking above all a sense of fault!