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03.23.2012 Posted In: Symposium 2012 By Jordan Magaziner
A Vision of Integrative Mental Health
This morning’s keynote speaker, Andrew Weil, is the world’s leading proponent of integrative medicine—healthcare that ties together conventional and alternative medicine—and his work and ideas fit well into the theme of this year’s Symposium: “Creating a New Wisdom: The Art and Science of Optimal Well-Being.”
I’ve been really looking forward to hearing him speak, and was definitely not disappointed by his talk. Rich Simon, in his introductory speech, mentioned that Andrew Weil is a “proponent of common sense in medicine,” and I absolutely agree with that statement. He said that “people are more than just bodies” and that other factors have to be taken into consideration when treating physical and mental health. He posed the question of why, in America today, more and more people are on antidepressant drugs when there are more mental health professionals offering services. He believes it has to do with a variety of factors, all of which are important to consider, including our diets and lack of physical exercise, disconnectedness to community and nature, direct-to-consumer advertising, and much more.