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The Role of a Dietician in Psychistry
Good nutrition is integral to mental health. As experts advising on diet, food and nutrition, Registered Dietitians have an important role in mental health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment for a wide variety of mental health conditions.
Nutrition interventions provided by Dieticians to individuals with mental health conditions and their care providers can lead to reduced nutrition-related side effects of psychiatric medications, improved cognition, better self-management of coexisting and co-morbid conditions, and improved overall occupational, social, and psychological functioning.
Targeted nutritional interventions exist for mental health symptoms such as depression, mania, psychosis, delirium, dementia, disordered eating, sleep problems, and substance use. In addition, therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behaviour therapy, mindful based eating awareness, dialectical behaviour therapy, motivational interviewing, cognitive adaptive training, and applied behavioural analysis used by Dietitians in mental health practice show evidence that food intakes and eating behaviours can be positively modified and lead to enhanced well-being.
Many nutrition initiatives that Dietitians help facilitate support mental health by enhancing social inclusion, self-reliance, self-determination, food security, healthy body image, and reducing health and social inequities
Other issues affecting mental health and dietetics practice include food insecurity, use of natural health products, and debate about food addictions. Dietitians can draw on knowledge and skills such as cultural competence, trauma-informed care, and harm reduction, to foster mental well-being, reduce disparities, and strengthen response to diverse communities.
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