World first network on integrative mental health to improve treatments

October 10, 2012, University of Melbourne

The first network of its kind endorsing an integrative approach to the treatment of mental health has been launched as part of World Mental Health Week

The International Network of Integrative (INIMH) is a network of mental health experts including , allied health clinicians, and academics who are passionate about improving mental health outcomes for patients by combining complementary and .

Vice Chair of INIMH and NHMRC Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Dr Jerome Sarris said the network would be a resource to doctors, researchers and the general public on the practice of integrated .

"There is a growing body of statistical and anecdotal evidence indicating that many people are using non-conventional approaches (often in combination with mainstream medicine) to treat ," he said.

"Despite this, there has been a deficit in the availability of high-quality information for people to improve their mental health using an integrated approach that combines the 'best of both worlds'.

"INIMH would address the absence of quality, evidence-based information about integrative and complementary medicine approaches in current mental healthcare," he said.

The practice of "integrative mental healthcare" adopts a model of healthcare that uses an integrated approach to addressing biological, psychological, sociological determinants of mental illness.

A combination of mainstream interventions such as pharmacological treatments and psychosocial interventions with evidence-based non-conventional therapeutics (such as nutritional medicine, dietary and exercise modification, acupuncture, select , and mindfulness meditation), are often prescribed.

The INIMH announcement incorporates the official launch of its innovative website for clinicians and the public (www.inimh.org). The interactive website provides links to resources on integrative mental healthcare; expert-hosted forums; a comprehensive searchable mental healthcare library; and offers networking between clinicians, researchers and the public.

Dr Sarris has also recently co-authored a White Paper outlining strategic recommendations for advancing integrative mental healthcare, including increasing research in key areas, improving clinician training and education, and promoting a public health agenda.

"The current trend suggests that many healthcare providers and patients believe that both conventional and non-conventional therapies are legitimate treatment choices," Dr Sarris pointed out.

"However there is little agreement on what healthcare providers should recommend—or patients should choose—regarding safe, evidence-based, non-conventional or integrative treatment strategies to address mental health needs. INIMH addresses this deficit."

"It is our intention with the launch of INIMH and the website now to grow the international network to assist in the transformation of mental healthcare, and to provide a vital resource for clinicians and the public."

Explore further: Breaking the cycle: Studies show improving mental health status helps improve financial status

Related Stories

Breaking the cycle: Studies show improving mental health status helps improve financial status

October 16, 2011
The first paper in The Lancet Series on Global Mental Health reviews the negative cycle of interaction between mental ill health and poverty in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC). A review of published work shows ...

Offenders need integrated, on-going, mental health care

June 25, 2012
Offenders with mental health problems need improved and on-going access to health care, according to the first study to systematically examine healthcare received by offenders across the criminal justice system.

Referral to talking therapies may cut use of health services and sick leave

October 3, 2011
Referring patients with mental health problems to talking therapies seems to cut their use of healthcare services and the amount of sick leave they take, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and ...

Lifestyle choices keep health all in the mind

July 28, 2011
Physical activity and being a volunteer assist mental wellbeing, a new ACT research report has found.

Community and health system approaches improves mental health in Afghanistan

May 29, 2012
"Treatment of mental disorders within the health care system needs to be accompanied by a community-based approach that focuses on psychosocial problems," say the authors of a case study from Afghanistan published in this ...

Recommended for you

People with prosthetic arms less affected by common illusion

January 22, 2018
People with prosthetic arms or hands do not experience the "size-weight illusion" as strongly as other people, new research shows.

Study of learning and memory problems in OCD helps young people unlock potential at school

January 22, 2018
Adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have widespread learning and memory problems, according to research published today. The findings have already been used to assist adolescents with OCD obtain the help ...

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.