Integrated mental health – please,no

More from the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health: we should look forward to May, when publication of guidelines with an “integrated approach… bringing together mainstream medical science with the best of other traditions… movement including exercise, yoga, tai chi/qi gong…” will apparently be published.

The PFIH is working with Mind and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, among others, to achieve this aim. I am horrified – the RCP has had (at least, up till now) a strong ethos for evidence-based treatments. I can’t imagine these reputable organisations working directly on guidelines with the pharmaceutical industry, for example, on how to use their products in hospitals. So why turn to the PFIH for “inspiration, understanding and practical tools” on “integrated health”?

Good facilities should be expected in psychiatric hospitals but are nothing to do with “integrated health”. Instead, they are everything to do with treating people well and with dignity. Integrated health is also nothing to do with the occupation which patients may benefit from – woodwork, gardening, crafts – but don’t often get the chance to thanks to the decimation of the numbers of occupational therapists in hospitals and the community.

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