The role of folk healers in Community Mental Health services

Pedro Ruiz, John Langrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This paper deals with the relationship between sociocultural factors and psychopathology in Hispanic groups in a disadvantaged urban area. The data were drawn from a 6-year collaborative undertaking between the Lincoln Community Mental Health Center and two local spiritualistic centers in the Southeast Bronx, New York. Comparisons are offered between classical mental health personnel and indigenous folk healers with emphasis on terminology, means of communication, and diagnosis techniques, as well as the utilization of social behavior and moral values. Relevant inferences are drawn regarding the broader relationship between religion and psychiatry. The importance of understanding and of utilization of local folk resources in the planning and implementation of mental health services in urban ghettos is documented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-398
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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