Daniel Halliday
Oct 8 · Last update 2 mo. ago.
What is the future of mental health care?
Mental illness effects more people than cancer, diabetes or heart disease, but until recently social stigma and a lack of understanding led to ineffective treatment. Advances in neurological and biochemical research have recently lead to a greater understanding of mental health problems. What future is likely for mental illness treatment? Could mental health problems be eradicated?
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The future of mental health care may be drug free
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Research will undoubtedly provide solutions, but stigma surrounding this issue needs societal change
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Research into previously overlooked drugs may revolutionise mental health care
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The future of mental health care may be drug free

With mounting evidence of the efficacy of nutritional based approaches to mental health problems the future seems to be inevitably linked to nutrition. The same could be argued for exercise and fitness, as studies have found numerous links between mental disorders and biochemical mechanisms in the body. With the complex issue of side effects associated with current pharmaceutical based approaches, if these problems can be fully understood in terms of a nutrition based biochemical perspective, it's possible that mental health problems could be eased or fully rectified with lifestyle changes.

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Research will undoubtedly provide solutions, but stigma surrounding this issue needs societal change

The solutions are coming, but the awareness and social stigma still need to be worked on so people can ask for help. The World Health organisation estimates that nearly two thirds of people with known mental disorders never seek help from a professional. So regardless of research based or technological solutions, if this fear of seeking help is not address the future remains bleak for mental health care.

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Research into previously overlooked drugs may revolutionise mental health care

Modern research into the neurology of mental health problems has called the efficacy of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) into question. Being one of the main drugs used to treat a multitude of mental health problems, SSRI’s long list of side effects and low efficacy have lead to other solutions being investigated. One such treatment may involve ketamine, a drug usually used in anaesthesiology. Its popularity as a recreational drug has arguably slowed serious research, but having found it to involve a lower risk of side effects, greater efficacy and low level of dependance when administered clinically, Ketamine may lead to a sharp development in the effectiveness of mental health medication.

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