Psychiatry is an area of medicine involving the study, diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. A person’s mental health is influenced by a combination of factors that are both specific to an individual as well as related to interactions with society, community, and family. There are several components to mental well being including a healthy self esteem, communication skills and the development of resilience.

Mental health problems should not be perceived as mere weaknesses that a person can simply overcome, as they can be highly problematic and disabling conditions and affect a large proportion of the population worldwide. Mental health issues need to be addressed and treated before they cause severe disruption to families, relationships and communities.

A psychiatrist is a physician who deals with the diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of mental health and emotional problems. The psychiatrist completes four years of mandatory medical school training before specializing in the field of psychiatry.

During these years, the psychiatrist acquires a deep understanding of bodily functions and the associations between mental health and general health. The student psychiatrist also learns to distinguish between physical and psychological causes of distress.