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A Study of the Crisis and the National Mental Health in Korean Society: the role of mental health counselors

  • Journal of Korean Hyo Studies
  • 2015, (21), pp.63-89
  • Publisher : The Korean Hyo Studies Association
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities

Yon,Moon-Hee 1

1성산효대학원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Over the past half century, the slogan of "let's level up the standard of living" in Korea has led us to workaholic society rather than the society of mutual trust, understanding and cooperation, care and love, or respect for life. The socio-psychological cultural side-effects have brought about productivity competition, materialism, disrespect of human life, results oriented society, collapse of family system, propaganda of the media, trustless society, and inhuman education which have negative impact on the mental health. The highest rate of suicide and divorce among OECD countries, collective outcast and violence of students and soldiers, the increase in sexual, violent crime, and mental health inpatients alone show a warning sign of national mental health. According to Kasser's empirical research(2014), the preference of materialistic values and goals, and competitive life style bar individual's autonomy, competence, and intimate relationship which have a harmful effect on wellbeing. Therefore it is discussed that intrinsic values and goals are the necessary conditions of mental health. The competition of academic scores in school, money making, ambitions for success in the society have driven Koreans to inhumane rivalry against each other, which have had a bad impact on mental health. The self actualizing values such as self-transcendence, happiness, vitality, inner peace, friendship, and love should be emphasized. Otherwise the pathology of depression, anxiety, or behavior disorder would be hiked. Therefore, the importance of value education is stressed on through families, schools, and churches. In conclusion, psychotherapists will be able to contribute to promotion of national mental health as follows. Firstly, psychotherapists are educated and trained to counsel clients from early childhood to elders. Secondly, if and when the government approves the certificates of psychotherapists granted by the related psychological societies, the government can make use of the psychotherapists already prepared. Thirdly, an easy access to psychological counseling will promotion to national mental health, because koreans try to avoid medical treatment or hospitalization in psychiatric hospital owing to prejudice and bias against mental illness. Lastly, it will be beneficial for us to learn from the advanced countries that counseling service for mild and moderately mild patients is more cost-effective than the intervention in psychiatric hospitals.

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