Integrative Medicine is a Solution to the Mental Health Crisis
Before COVID-19 hit, there was a mental health crisis. In 2017, estimates revealed that there were 792 million people worldwide that have a mental health disorder; this approximates 1 in 10 of the world population suffers from a mental health disorder. This figure has obviously grown prior to Covid-19.
Some of the main groups of mental disorders are:
• mood disorders (e.g. depression or bipolar disorder)
• anxiety disorders.
• personality disorders.
• psychotic disorders (e.g. schizophrenia)
• eating disorders.
• post-traumatic disorders
• substance abuse disorders
In today’s world with Covid-19 and the impacts of lengthy lockdowns, growing unemployment, intense stress, isolation and addiction, mental health disordersis set to become the next pandemic. A recent study by Monash University has revealed that 31 per cent of the participants have experienced severe psychological distress due to social isolation, financial stress, job insecurity and job loss. It is not only adults who experience mental health. The Kids Helpline reported a 40 per cent rise in demand for counselling services in March.
The Power of Integrative Medicine
Integrative Medicine is holistic and patient-centred. It is now critical that governments scale -up mental health peer support, telehealth consultations with GPs, psychologists and psychiatrists, community outreach mental health programmes to provide therapeutic support to enable individuals to recover and develop coping strategies for their emotional wellbeing. disorders. However, for mental health treatment to become more effective, it is essential to choose common Integrative medicine interventions such as:
• Cognitive-behavioural therapy
• Music therapy
• Art therapy
• Dance therapy
• Tai chi
• Guided imagery
However, for a more effective treatment, a holistic Integrative medicine concept is required. These Integrative Medicine therapeutic components can include:
• Nutrition and energetically balanced eating program (biotype specific)
• Nutritional medicine supplementation– vitamin, minerals, herbal, homeopathic
• Lifestyle Modification and Home remedies – daily lifestyle program including self-massage
• Environmental Medicine
• Spiritual counseling – how you relate to those around you and provides empowering ideas on how to find and develop your life intentions and your life purpose
An Integrative Medicine program may initially sound expensive to implement, however if the patient intake procedure is well conducted and the treatment targeted, then an affordable and cost-effective Integrative Medicine program can be delivered.
Integrative Medicine harnesses the best of allopathic and complementary medicine. Therefore, this approach can be an affordable and effective solution to combat the upcoming mental health crisis.