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

Gene associated with schizophrenia risk regulates neurodevelopment

September 25, 2017
A gene associated with the risk of schizophrenia regulates critical components of early brain development, according to a new study led by researchers from Penn State University. The gene is involved in the translation of ...

Child abuse affects brain wiring

September 25, 2017
Researchers from the McGill Group for Suicide Studies, based at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University's Department of Psychiatry, have just published research in the American Journal of Psychiatry ...

For a better 'I,' there needs to be a supportive 'we'

September 25, 2017
If you're one of those lucky individuals with high motivation and who actively pursues personal growth goals, thank your family and friends who support you.

Babies can learn that hard work pays off

September 21, 2017
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. A new study from MIT reveals that babies as young as 15 months can learn to follow this advice. The researchers found that babies who watched an adult struggle at two different ...

Study links brain inflammation to suicidal thinking in depression

September 21, 2017
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have increased brain levels of a marker of microglial activation, a sign of inflammation, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the University of ...

Oxytocin turns up the volume of your social environment

September 20, 2017
Before you shop for the "cuddle" hormone oxytocin to relieve stress and enhance your social life, read this: a new study from the University of California, Davis, suggests that sometimes, blocking the action of oxytocin in ...

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.