Why Mental Health Approaches Aren’t Cutting It

A woman's hand laying on top of a pile of pills.

Recent reports from the CDC show a marketed increase in Anxiety and Depression between April 2020 – February 2021. Through a door-to-door senses, the CDC gathered data suggesting a 41% incidence of mental health per household. Participants were required to be over the age of 18, excluding the large number of teens and children known to struggle with chronic mental health. 

Their limited questions included asking if the individual had suffered with Anxiety, Fear or Depression over the last week and how many days these consumed thoughts lasted. They were also asked whether or not they were on a prescription medication for the condition or had sought counselling or therapy. 

As a passionate community of Coaches and Practitioners, we take mental health very seriously and through the in-depth research that we study on the topic of Holistic Health and the Brain-Gut connection, we know that science is showing powerful evidence that points to the Gut Microbiome’s highly impactful role in mental health, brain function and cognitive behavior. Not only does the Gut impact the brain but stress, trauma and environment also effect the gut. 

Just one traumatic incident can completely alter the eco-system of the microbiome, setting the entire body up for disfunction. 

Dr. Brant Cortright Professor and author of “Functional Psychology for Anxiety, Depression and Cognitive Decline” further states that “Having meaning plays an essential role in the prevention of cognitive decline.”

If we know all of this, why than are we as a society still approaching mental health with drugs and therapy alone? In a study conducted by Japanese Medical school, multiple participants struggling with anxiety were divided into three groups. Of the three groups, one group was given only probiotic supplements, the second group was given the supplements and guided through dietary changes. The third group participated in diet changes but no probiotic. The results showed a minimal improvement of 35% from the probiotic only group and a collective improvement from the groups that made the diet changes of 86%! Researchers suggested that this was due to the impact that the diet had on strengthening the commensal gut bacteria. Either way, the entire study gives plenty of reason for us to focus on more than just prescriptions and therapy. 

As Dr. Cortright discussed on the Buddha Belly Life Podcast, even many psychologists don’t understand Functional Wellness. There is a break in these areas of mental health where there needs to be unity. The argument of “psychosis or broken brain” has done a disservice to a struggling population showing symptoms of a multifaceted problem. 

To be a coach isn’t to be a psychologist or a doctor but ironically, its often the coaches and holistic practitioners who are fighting for a thorough understanding of mental health to produce a much better outcome for people. As influencers of health, we have power to advocate and educate but more so, we have the ability to EMPOWER a better outcome for the suffering.