World first network on integrative mental health to improve treatments

October 10, 2012

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

Suicidal thoughts rapidly reduced with ketamine, finds study

December 14, 2017
Ketamine was significantly more effective than a commonly used sedative in reducing suicidal thoughts in depressed patients, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). They also found that ketamine's ...

Do bullies have more sex?

December 14, 2017
Adolescents who are willing to exploit others for personal gain are more likely to bully and have sex than those who score higher on a measure of honesty and humility. This is according to a study in Springer's journal Evolutionary ...

Children's screen-time guidelines too restrictive, according to new research

December 14, 2017
Digital screen use is a staple of contemporary life for adults and children, whether they are browsing on laptops and smartphones, or watching TV. Paediatricians and scientists have long expressed concerns about the impact ...

Eating together as a family helps children feel better, physically and mentally

December 14, 2017
Children who routinely eat their meals together with their family are more likely to experience long-term physical and mental health benefits, a new Canadian study shows.

The iceberg model of self-harm

December 14, 2017
Researchers have created a model of self-harm that shows high levels of the problem in the community, especially in young girls, and the need for school-based prevention measures.

Encouraging risk-taking in children may reduce the prevalence of childhood anxiety

December 13, 2017
A new international study suggests that parents who employ challenging parent behavioural (CPB) methods – active physical and verbal behaviours that encourage children to push their limits – are likely protecting their ...

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.