Leading Brazilian Psychiatrists Call for Holistic Mental Health Practices

Leading psychiatrists in Brazil argue for a shift away from current psychiatric practices towards more holistic models that address the social and environmental factors contributing to mental health issues.


In an opinion piece published in PLOS Mental Health, prominent Brazilian psychiatrists and mental health practitioners argue for a transformative shift in the approach to mental health care. Led by Paulo Amarante, a leading figure in Brazilian psychiatry and head of Mad in Brazil, the article advocates for reducing medicalization and embracing holistic, integrative practices that prioritize the individual’s social and environmental context.

They write:

“Mental health conditions are often caused by physiological imbalance that is socially constructed. Deficits in sleep, nutrition, exercise, introspection, and other pillars of good mental health do not occur in a vacuum; they are produced by how we live. Precarious working and housing conditions, unemployment, racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, physical and symbolic violence, the war on people who use certain drugs, and other forms of social bias all contribute to mental suffering and need to be considered systemically. The individual’s environmental and social setting must be understood and improved through integrative practices. It is time to strive towards a more naturalistic and benign approach to promoting mental well-being by strengthening the connections to one’s own body, nature, and community.”

The article, titled “It is time for more holistic practices in mental health,” emphasizes the need to move beyond the chemical imbalance hypothesis that has dominated psychiatry. Instead, it calls for practices that consider the broader context of an individual’s life, including factors such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, and social connections. The authors align their views with the World Health Organization and advocate for a rights-based approach to mental health care, aiming to reduce the over-reliance on medication and promote a more comprehensive understanding of mental well-being. This significant endorsement from leading Brazilian figures highlights the growing global movement towards holistic and integrative mental health practices.

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  1. “Their call to action reminds us of the need to rethink and reform mental health care systems worldwide, making them more inclusive, compassionate, and responsive to the real needs of those they serve.”

    Well, this would require an end to the systemic child abuse and rape covering up sins of the “mental health” “partners” of the large paternalistic religions of the West.

    It would also require an end to the forced druggings by the “mental health” child stealers and child abuse covering up, systemic, CPS industry.

    For goodness sakes, according to my former child abuse covering up psychologist’s medical records, she was contemplating what to do with my youngest child (on, I think, only the second day I dealt with her) as if stealing children from the American people – from the American people – is legal. Oh, it is, for the criminal psychological and psychiatric industries! How insane is that?

    We need to get rid of the “doctors’,” and non-medically trained psychologists’ and iatrogenic illness creating psychiatrists’ “right,” to force drug innocent mothers … to cover up the abuse of their children, for their paternalistic religions.

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