Pharmacotherapy is a therapy that uses pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmacotherapy is used in the treatment of mental illness through the use of antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and the use of elements such as lithium. It can only be prescribed by a medical professional trained in the field of Psychiatry.
For some people, physical exercise can improve mental as well as physical health. Playing sports, walking, cycling, or doing any form of physical activity trigger the production of various hormones, sometimes including endorphins, which can elevate a person's mood.
Studies have shown that in some cases, physical activity can have the same impact as antidepressants when treating depression and anxiety.
Moreover, cessation of physical exercise may have adverse effects on some mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. This could lead to many different negative outcomes such as obesity, skewed body image, lower levels of certain hormones, and many more health risks associated with mental illnesses.
Activity therapies also called recreation therapy and occupational therapy, promote healing through active engagement. An example of occupational therapy would be promoting an activity that improves daily life, such as self-care or improving hobbies. Similarly, recreational therapy focuses on movement, such as walking, yoga, or riding a bike.
Each of these therapies have proven to improve mental health and have resulted in healthier, happier individuals. In recent years, for example, coloring has been recognized as an activity that has been proven to significantly lower the levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety in many studies.
Expressive therapies or creative arts therapies are a form of psychotherapy that involves the arts or art-making. These therapies include art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, dance therapy, and poetry therapy. It has been proven that music therapy is an effective way of helping people who suffer from a mental health disorder. Drama therapy is approved by NICE for the treatment of psychosis.
Psychotherapy is the general term for the scientific based treatment of mental health issues based on modern medicine. It includes a number of schools, such as gestalt therapy, psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychedelic therapy, transpersonal psychology/psychotherapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy. Group therapy involves any type of therapy that takes place in a setting involving multiple people. It can include psychodynamic groups, expressive therapy groups, support groups (including the Twelve-step program), problem-solving and psychoeducation groups.
According to Neff, self-compassion consists of three main positive components and their negative counterparts: Self-Kindness versus Self-Judgement, Common Humanity versus Isolation and Mindfulness versus Over-Identification.Furthermore, there is evidence from a study by Shin & Lin suggesting specific components of self-compassion can predict specific dimensions of positive mental health (emotional, social, and psychological well-being).
Further information: Social emotional development § Social emotional learning & development in schools
The Collaborative for academic, social, emotional learning (CASEL) addresses five broad and interrelated areas of competence and highlights examples for each: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills,and responsible decision-making. A meta-analysis was done by Alexendru Boncu, Iuliana Costeau, & Mihaela Minulescu (2017) looking at social-emotional learning (SEL) studies and the effects on emotional and behavior outcomes. They found a small but significant effect size (across the studies looked into) for externalized problems and social-emotional skills.
Main articles: Meditation and Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
A woman towards the right and a man towards the left. Both sitting cross legged with their eyes closed. Their hands resting on their knees with their palms facing up.
The practice of mindfulness meditation has several mental health benefits, such as bringing about reductions in depression, anxiety and stress. Mindfulness meditation may also be effective in treating substance use disorders. Further, mindfulness meditation appears to bring about favorable structural changes in the brain.
The Heartfulness meditation program has proven to show significant improvements in the state of mind of health-care professionals. A study posted on the US National Library of Medicine showed that these professionals of varied stress levels were able to improve their conditions after this meditation program was conducted. They benefited in aspects of burnouts and emotional wellness.
People with anxiety disorders participated in a stress-reduction program conducted by researchers from the Mental Health Service Line at the W.G. Hefner Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina. The participants practiced mindfulness meditation. After the study was over, it was concluded that the "mindfulness meditation training program can effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic and can help maintain these reductions in patients with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or panic disorder with agoraphobia."
Mental fitness is a mental health movement that encourages people to intentionally regulate and maintain their emotional wellbeing through friendship, regular human contact, and activities that include meditation, calming exercises, aerobic exercise, mindfulness, having a routine and maintaining adequate sleep. Mental fitness is intended to build resilience against every-day mental health challenges to prevent an escalation of anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, and help them cope with the escalation of those feelings if they occur.
Spiritual counsellors meet with people in need to offer comfort and support and to help them gain a better understanding of their issues and develop a problem-solving relation with spirituality. These types of counselors deliver care based on spiritual, psychological and theological principles.