Dr. Andrew Weil talks about the differences between what he calls a biomedical model and the integrative approach. The biomedical perspective treats mental disturbance with medication. The integrative perspective believes that lifestyle also has an effect on mental health. Some of the lifestyle considerations are diet, nutrition and physical activity among others.
Integrative mental health has gradually been gaining support, and now, Dr. Weil says he has just taken part in the first National Integrative Mental Health Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. He was gratified to see many mental health professionals in attendance, and information on nutrition, supplements, mind-body practices, and other resources.
Dr. Weil has been on this path a long time. "From 1971-75, as a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Dr. Weil traveled widely in North and South America and Africa collecting information on drug use in other cultures, medicinal plants, and alternative methods of treating disease. From 1971-84 he was on the research staff of the Harvard Botanical Museum and conducted investigations of medicinal and psychoactive plants."