Getting Creative

Psychiatric TimesVol 40, Issue 8

What does creativity mean, and what role does it play in medicine, psychiatry, and our lives?




What does creativity mean, and what role does it play in medicine, psychiatry, and our lives? Merriam-Webster explains it as being able “to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior” or “to produce through imaginative skill.” By that definition, clinicians are always engaged in creative endeavors, looking for new ways to support patients.

In psychiatry, scientists behind the scenes are leveraging creativity to find new pharmacological agents, neuromodulation techniques, and other strategies to improve lives. That creativity is successful, with novel agents under study—and some recently approved—for Alzheimer disease, depression, and other disorders.

In a more literal sense, encouraging your patients to be creative may support their well-being. According to the Healthy Minds Monthly Poll, respondents who rated their mental health as very good or better pursued creative outlets more frequently than those who reported poor, fair, and good mental health status. Moreover, almost half of the respondents noted they engaged in activities to relieve stress and anxiety.1

From cover to cover, you will find many ways to further explore creativity in this issue. For instance, this month’s Special Report looks at creativity in terms of providing care for patients and oneself. Our goal, as always, is to provide you with clinical pearls and creative ways to support your patients in print and online at

Here’s to creativity!

Mike Hennessy Jr

President and CEO, MJH Life Sciences®


1. New APA poll: Americans who engage in creative activities at least weekly report better mental health. American Psychiatric Association. July 6, 2023. Accessed July 18, 2023.

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