Integrative Psychiatry Improves Outcomes in Matters of Mental Health

05 Mins Read

Covid has inadvertently propelled us into the initial stages of a meaningful transformation - one that aims to systematically destigmatize issues surrounding mental health. Many of us are engaging in deeper and broader conversations about mental health and well-being because we feel that we have been failed by the traditional medical system - an ecosystem full of symptoms and business-incentivized prescriptions, and very little focus on the root cause of why we feel bad. We need to expand our vocabulary and seek multiple facets of objective measurements in order to address our mental health in a more holistic and effective manner.

We are finally ready to demand accessible answers and implement sustainable solutions that prioritize our mental well-being and simplify the search for high-quality help.

A Pandemic within a Pandemic

We have been on the precipice of an insidious mental health pandemic for some time leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic1. Covid just happened to fuel the slow-burning fire and exacerbated the existing crisis quickly.

Pre-COVID, our society defaulted to this tendency to “push through no matter what” as the only seemingly productive way to move forward. Simultaneously, we forgot (or lost) the ability to fully refill our cups with self-love, care, and introspection. It was almost like there was a pervasive unspoken global agreement to defer prioritizing mental health indefinitely. Or at least defer asking for help for as long as possible.

But then Covid hit. The world screeched to a halt, and we were faced with confronting the emotional cargo we so carefully packed away from the rest of the world.

All of a sudden, we were stripped of any semblance of coping mechanisms. Anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, which were already at an all-time high, skyrocketed. Anything that seemed comfortable and familiar was now somehow distorted beyond recognition, inevitably skewed by the Covid prism. We were forced to face the “new normal” and so we began the journey of reconsidering the way we spoke about and addressed mental health.

The Silver Lining

What the Covid pandemic made us all realize was that we needed to do better, collectively and individually, in terms of mental wellness. Acknowledging that mental health is a fundamental cornerstone for nearly everything in our lives (such as keeping healthy relationships with family and friends, school or work performance, etc.) was the first step.

Of course, we all knew that mental health was important way before we had to deal with Covid! But overnight we went from putting that thought on the backburner to giving it our undivided attention.

Many of us also realized that we were no longer alone in our struggles or that we had to suffer in the shadows.

Redefining the Conversation

As a result, the mental health conversation shifted perceptibly. Online communities are sprouting seemingly everywhere to offer support, wellness coaches are becoming the new thought leaders, and individuals are more willing to openly share the intricacies of their own relationships with mental health in private and even on social platforms. At last, the fear of harsh criticism or being stigmatized is no longer relevant because so many of us are struggling.

We have been ready for a radical change in the paradigm of mental health and wellbeing for a long time, recognizing that conventional strategies within the currently prevailing care model do not effectively address the individualized intricacies of mental illness2.

We are now entering the initial stages of re-envisioning the current model of mental healthcare!

What is Integrative Psychiatry?

Integrative psychiatry has gained considerable momentum since COVID-19, as patients are demanding more sophisticated answers, customized to lives, minds, and bodies.

But integrative psychiatry is not a novel concept. It applies the best of functional medicine in a way that encompasses a holistic approach to mental health care, combining conventional psychiatric treatments (if deemed necessary) with complementary and alternative therapies3.

This approach is rooted in a thorough understanding of biological processes occurring in the body and realizes how changes in these processes manifest as undesirable mental health symptoms. Recognizing that brain health and function must be evaluated in the context of the whole body is one of the key principles in integrative psychiatry. Understanding the aberrant physiology first to develop a personalized treatment plan for a given individual is what makes this approach so powerful and effective.

As a result, integrative psychiatry offers more tools to uncover patterns and connections that help us better diagnose and treat mental health conditions. These insights improve the ability to take a patient-centric approach, where the unique patient needs are paramount to structuring individually tailored treatment plans.

[Side note: the patient-centric approach in integrative psychiatry is deeply contrasted by the non-integrative “trial and error” algorithm, which does not consider each patient’s unique mental health needs.]

SohoMD Sets New Standards

SohoMD is deeply unsatisfied with the status quo that conventional psychiatry offers. We believe that maintaining mental wellbeing is essential to defining and pursuing your best life. Our mission is to eliminate barriers that stand between patients’ mental health concerns and their best possible outcomes by employing integrative psychiatry.

Reimagining the Psychiatry Paradigm

We are building bridges to higher-quality care to diagnose and treat patients smarter and earlier. Our approach pairs deep clinical expertise with evidence-based treatments to produce superior patient outcomes across the mental health care continuum. Our experts tirelessly look for ways to improve mental health care from all aspects of a patient’s life.

A Patient-Centered Integrative Approach

Unlike the current practice of conventional psychiatry, we evaluate both psychiatric and physical outcomes simultaneously, as we recognize how closely they are interconnected. The body and mind are a unified and interconnected system, and treatment plans must be holistic.

Our patient-centered approach is collaborative with primary care physicians while offering personalized, evidence-based integrative treatments tailored to tackle mental health and wellbeing concerns.

Our integrative care team also places a strong emphasis on the symptoms of each individual within the framework of their values, choices, and life circumstances. We thoroughly evaluate your overall health, including medical history and goals, and then deliver personalized treatment options across therapeutic modalities.

A Fundamental Grasp of Biochemistry

A deep understanding of biochemical mechanisms by our practitioners while developing a treatment plan is key to ensuring that our patients achieve meaningful results. To help create optimal treatments, we incorporate a rational understanding of the biological mechanism of action for a given herb, vitamin or mineral supplement and consider possible interactions with other supplements and/or medications.

Confident Treatment Decisions that Empower Patients

Our practitioners at SohoMD specialize in using the results from a comprehensive health evaluation to guide clinical decision-making with a personalized treatment plan, tailored for each individual patient.

The emphasis on patient centricity considers the individual patient's unique needs, preferences, and experiences - our approach empowers patients by:

  • Customizing treatment plans, tailored to unique individual symptoms, preferences, and goals of each patient.
  • Implementing whole-person care with consideration of the patient’s physical, emotional, and social well-being needs to diagnose and treat.
  • Practicing a holistic approach that may include a combination of conventional psychiatric medications, psychotherapy, lifestyle modifications (diet and exercise), mindfulness practices, and complementary therapies (herbal supplements).
  • Inviting collaboration between the doctor and patient to make the best-informed decisions about their care.
  • Promoting longevity of solutions that not only serve to alleviate symptoms but ones that promote resilience and prevention.

Overall, the patient-centric approach acknowledges that every individual is unique, and their mental health care should be holistic and tailored to meet their specific needs and preferences, to ultimately improve outcomes. Our patients are at the heart of everything we do. We are driven to help YOU! This is psychiatry done right.



2Lake J, Turner MS. Urgent Need for Improved Mental Health Care and a More Collaborative Model of Care. Perm J. 2017;21:17-024. doi: 10.7812/TPP/17-024. PMID: 28898197; PMCID: PMC5593510.

3Ee C, Lake J, Firth J, Hargraves F, de Manincor M, Meade T, Marx W, Sarris J. An integrative collaborative care model for people with mental illness and physical comorbidities. Int J Ment Health Syst. 2020 Nov 11;14(1):83. doi: 10.1186/s13033-020-00410-6. PMID: 33292354; PMCID: PMC7659089.

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