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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-66

Social psychiatry in the era of cyber age and globalization: Threatened, empowered, or both?

President Elect, World Association of Social Psychiatry; Medical Referent of the Françoise Minkowska Institute, Paris, France

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rachid Bennegadi
Medical Referent of the Francoise Minkowska Institute, 12 Rue Jacquemont, Paris
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/WSP.WSP_18_19

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The cyber age and the era of rapid globalization have fundamentally challenged and changed the way human beings communicate, relate, and respond to one another. While these processes of change have undeniably speeded up human transactions and obliterated distances, they have also created unique challenges. Some of these challenges are directly relevant for social psychiatry, which is alternatively seen as either empowered or threatened by these challenges. This article is the result of an ethical reflection on the place of digital era in the different aspects of life (psychosocioanthropological dimension), considering the impact of the digital world on our mind. I propose that even in this era of digital revolution, globalization, and artificial intelligence including big data and machine learning, the fundamentally social nature of all communications and feedback systems will remain valid. I suggest four examples how social psychiatry can be empowered (rather than threatened) by wisely utilizing the technological advances of the cyber era and globalization: webminars (webinars), supervisions via the Internet, mental health apps, and developing “mindwares” for promoting mental and social well-being. I conclude by posing several conceptual, ethical, and practical questions for our reflection and debate.

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