Public Psychiatry

"Public or community psychiatry is that part of psychiatry that is practiced in the public sector and funded by a state’s general funds as well as by reimbursement from entitlements such as Medicaid and Medicare. Services provided by public sector clinicians serve as a safety net for disadvantaged, vulnerable, mentally ill, and addicted individuals in the community. For disabled, chronically ill individuals, Medicare may fund services after disability is established by the Social Security Administration. Public psychiatry is practiced in many locations: mental health and addiction agencies; community behavioral health centers and programs; residential and nursing care facilities; rehabilitative and support service agencies; and organizations offering forensic and public health programs. Some examples of the skills involved in public psychiatry include: psychiatric disability assessment, psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation, and the evaluation of addictions. Expertise in the principles of recovery, integrated care, and population health is also required."

        (Based on the definition of public psychiatry from Forty Years of Academic Public Psychiatry, edited by Selby C. Jacobs and Ezra E. H. Griffith, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.. 2007. Used with permission of the author.)

More information


American Association of Community Psychiatrists 

APA Annual Meeting

APA Institute on Psychiatric Services

APA Integrated Care Resources 

APA Public Psychiatry Fellowship

Judges Leadership Initiative

Provider's Toolkit for Working with Veterans (from the VA)

Psychiatric Services Achievement Award 2014 Award Applications now online. Deadline May 12.

Recovery-Oriented Care in Psychiatry