Alternative Approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing


Here’s how complementary and alternative medicine modalities can help patients with a variety of mental health problems.

“Psychiatry, as conventionally practiced, is being influenced by increasing openness to non-Western healing traditions in the context of accumulating research evidence for select complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities and growing demands for more personalized care.”

James Lake, MD, recently shared his expertise on CAM as chair of the Psychiatric Times™ Special Report on Integrative Medicine. In this Mental Health Minute, he shares some background on CAM and its role in the field of psychiatry, then introduces the Special Report articles by fellow experts who discuss 3 key areas of CAM that are influencing how mental health care is practice in North America and around the world:

Lake also discusses his CME article from within the same issue, which reviews CAM interventions for mental health problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We hope that the Special Report will deepen your understanding of complementary and alternative approaches for improving wellbeing and addressing depressed mood, anxiety, and other mental health problems,” Lake said.

Dr Lake is a board-certified adult psychiatrist with more than 25 years’ clinical experience. He is an adjunct fellow at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, Australia. He founded and chaired the American Psychiatric Association’s Caucus on Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine from 2004 through 2010, and has chaired symposia and workshops at American Psychiatric Association conferences and other national and international conferences on complementary, alternative, and integrative mental health care. Dr Lake is the author or editor of 5 textbooks on alternative and integrative mental health care and a 10-volume series of self-help books on alternative and integrative treatments of depressed mood, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, and other mental health problems.

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