The role of ethnicity, community structure, and folk concepts of mental illness in facilitating the adaptation of long term psychiatric patients to community living has received little attention. This article examines the cultural concepts of mental illness and the community involvement of 30 Puerto Rican psychiatric patients participating in a New York City treatment program. It is shown that many of the attributes usually associated with chronic mental illness do not apply to this population. It is argued that the folk concept of nervios helps to foster the integration of these patients in a wide range of community networks. The impact of gentrification on these patients' community integration is also discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health