A new vision of mental health care

Globally, 1 in 5 people have a serious mental health problem. Yet, according to Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, despite tens of billions of dollars invested in neuroscience and genetics research, we cannot live the lives of people with mental illness. We have barely moved the needle in improving .

What does it take to translate cutting-edge science into accessible and effective mental health care? Collaborated with the Blair Institute for Global Change, it brought together experts from a variety of disciplines to discuss the issue and share new innovations, approaches, and collaborations in mental health. Care.

“It is clear that so many people are suffering from mental health challenges and that new solutions are needed. We saw it as an opportunity to bring together visionary creators and researchers who are rethinking innovation and mental health,” said Dr. Michael Snyder, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab, professor and chair of genetics, Dr. Ariel Ganz, the main organizer of the event, said.

In the coming months, a Mental Health Innovation Council will be established to lead and continue this effort. “It is our hope that the ongoing council will bring together diverse thought leaders and creators across mental health to scale each other’s projects and implement them to serve local and global communities. ‘ said Gantz.

Dr. Leanne Williams, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vincent VC, and Summit panelist, spoke with us about the importance of cross-disciplinary partnerships and the potential of precision mental health.

The summit brought together researchers, policy makers, industry and others from a variety of fields working on mental health. why is this important?

Different sectors, including health care providers, advocacy groups and companies, need to work together to develop new interventions. As the U.S. Surgeon General has proclaimed, there is increasing recognition that we are facing a mental health crisis, and interest from other industries in developing tools and approaches to address it. Increasingly, these new approaches include exploratory treatments such as MDMA and other psychedelics that were previously considered drugs of abuse but may have therapeutic value. .

As a scientist, I think it’s absolutely essential for companies that are innovating in the mental health field to partner with researchers. We can guide the use of new inventions and treatments, advise whom they will benefit and for what mental health conditions they are most helpful. I want to give people hope of

It ties into your work on precision mental health. What are some examples of how precision approaches can improve mental health approaches?

The simplest example is using a precise approach to optimize currently available treatments or interventions. Patients with clinical depression usually go through a lengthy process of trial and error to find the right treatment for them. And only one third of her recover in response to treatment. This is unacceptable for other chronic diseases, especially those that affect so many young people.

Currently, methods of assessing depression are symptom-based and rely on self-reported experiences. You’ll want to know what type of infection you have so you can take the appropriate antibiotics. The same is true for cancer treatment. I need it for my mental health. Doctors currently have no way to make a more specific diagnosis.

But through large-scale controlled trials, we are working on measures that may give clues to what is causing mental health symptoms. Imaging is being used to better understand how the brain works. I can do it. From that data, he can identify at least eight different biotypes of depression, allowing him to predict who will respond to a particular treatment with greater than 70% accuracy. Examining genetics can complement that approach. Genetics can tell you who is more likely to metabolize certain antidepressants.

One day we might even be able to use wearables for precise mental health, for example, by correlating heart rate or sweat rate measurements with various types of depression.

What is required to communicate your findings about depression biotypes to the clinic?

There is a great deal of interest in precision mental health. We saw it at the Summit, and I see it in individuals who experience mental health issues and their families. I need a referral to a health professional. Generating evidence in a research setting is essential, but we also need to know if it is useful in a clinical setting.

Unlike other areas of health care, mental health care is highly fragmented. It spans psychiatry, psychology, primary care, online care, and more. Without an integrated system, individuals must follow their own mental health recovery pathways. But sometimes you don’t know where to start or how to navigate the different options.

My vision is one integrated care program that provides mental health assessments. Based on the results, doctors outline future pathways that may be more beneficial to patients, such as lifestyle changes, medications, and other treatment options.

Photo by Natejindakum

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