NICM-BI Visiting Scholar: Dr Lake

27 May 2019

NICM welcomed world-class international scholar, Dr James Lake throughout April and May, as part of the NICM-BI Visiting Scholar program. Dr Lake is an academic, author and expert in integrative mental health. He is a Board certified psychiatrist practicing on the central California coast and a visiting assistant professor of medicine at the Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona School of Medicine. He previously served on adjunct clinical faculty at Stanford University Hospital, Department of Behavioral Medicine where he supervised residents in evidence-based uses of complementary, alternative and integrative approaches addressing psychiatric disorders.

During his time with NICM, Dr Lake presented at Western Sydney University and NICM’s Health Forum discussing with health professionals the topic of mental health. His presentation explored in the US, the large and growing gaps between mental healthcare needs of the population and available resources, as well as limitations with complementary medicine and also approaches to integrative mental health and the role of complementary medicine and a collaborative care approach to mental health.

“Patient surveys show that integrative approaches in managing mental illness are already used by the majority of mentally ill people in many industrialised countries, most likely due to the limitations of conventional treatments. This points to the need for an integrative proach to become mainstream practice to ensure the safe and efficacious management of these patients in the clinical setting,” said Dr Lake.

His model includes recommendations for a thorough integrative assessment of patients, provides guidelines on how to select the most appropriate interventions that work in each individual case, and covers the safety, legal and ethical considerations of these approaches.

As a NICM-BI Visiting Scholar recipient, Dr Lake also presented his work and research at Blackmores Institute and internally to Western Sydney University academics and students. He continues to collaborate with NICM researchers on projects in the field of integrative medicine and mental health. More information on his model can be found in his latest book “An Integrative Paradigm for Mental Health Care: Ideas and Methods Shaping the Future” (Springer, May 2019).

The NICM-BI Visiting Scholar Program supports world-class international scholars to build stronger international networks and knowledge transfer through collaboration. For more information or to apply as a candidate contact NICM Deputy Director and Research Director Professor Jerome Sarris.