The goal of Prevention is to decrease the prevalence and development of mental illnesses. Preventions are usually geared towards communities (groups and individuals). There are three types of prevention strategies:
- Primary: Primary prevention programs increase healthy living and prevent development of psychological illnesses/problems. They are offered to groups and increase resilience before problems can emerge.
- Example: A psychologist teaching a group of community members on how to meditate and relax.
- Secondary: Secondary prevention programs are offered after a problem has been identified with the goal of preventing it from getting worse. It targets specific individuals.
- Example: A school psychologist offers one-on-one services to students who are at-risk of substance abuse based on an assessment given to all students.
- Tertiary: This type of prevention is utilized with severe mental illnesses with the goal of reducing the length of the problem, the severity of the problem, and preventing further relapses.
- Example: A 12-step program that offers direct services only for alcoholics.