National Mental Health Week
May 5th to11th has been designated National Mental Health Week. On its web, the Canadian Mental Health Association states that:
"Mental health is not only the avoidance of serious mental illness. Your mental health is affected by numerous factors from your daily life, including the stress of balancing work with your health and relationships."
My suggestion is that this definition is incomplete. Indeed, a perusal of the majority of "official" websites dealing with mental health either minimize or completely omit the role of nutrition in mental health. This is very unfortunate since our mental health is affected as much by our diet as it is by our relationships. Our behaviour is affected by the presence of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. And serotonin, like all chemicals produced in the body, is dependent on our food for its precursors. Various authors and an important number of studies have highlighted nutrition's role in either preventing or treating various mental health issues. Canadian psychiatrist, Dr. Abram Hoffer, originator of the concept of orthomolecular psychiatry and the Princeton University psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, author of Mental and Elemental Nutrients, are among the pioneers in highlighting the role of nutrition in mental health.
Let's hope that the government agencies as well as the NGOs will add the nutritional aspect to their definition and will suggest it to their therapies of mental disorders.