Current and emerging scientific research

An increasing body of research suggests that mental health issues are not ‘all in the mind.’ They are the consequence of prior conditions involving the individual’s:

  • Body systems (especially the nervous, immune and endocrine systems, and the gut-brain-microbiome)
  • Genes, and how certain genes are turned on or off by the individual’s environment (epigenetics)
  • Specific environment, including bullying, deprivation, exposure to nitrous gases, stressors
  • Choices and actions, for example, sleep, diet, intoxicants and exercise.

The research also indicates that developments over the life course influence the configuration and development of key systems in the body, particularly the nervous and immune systems. These developments appear to take place across the key stages of fetal-, infant-, childhood-, adolescent- and young adult development.

Read more about the need, and the challenges for scientific research…

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