Dr. Weil describes the integrative approach to mental health treatment.
The mental health profession at the moment is very locked into what’s called the biomedical model which views all mental disturbances as results of disordered brain biochemistry and treats everything by giving medication.
Integrative mental health seeks to break that dependence on medication as the only method of treatment and to look at especially at lifestyle factors that affect mental health.
So starting with diet, nutrition, physical activity, stress, rest, sleep, relationships and we have just had the first National Integrative Mental Health Conference in Phoenix, sponsored by the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine that’s been very, very successful.
We attracted a great many mental health professionals here and there’s a lot of scientific evidence for nutritional approaches, use of dietary supplements, various forms of mind-body practice, the role of regular physical activity.
So integrative mental health draws on all of these lifestyle interventions and is willing to use medication when that’s appropriate, but really is trying to broaden the treatment horizons here.
About Dr. Weil, M.D.:
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., was born in Philadelphia in 1942, received an A.B. degree in biology (botany) from Harvard in 1964 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After completing a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he worked a year with the National Institute of Mental Health before writing his first book, The Natural Mind. 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.