Posted: 13.01.21 at 12:20 by Sam Petherick
The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in Richmond has opened its first Brain Bio Clinic, as fears for the mental health of the nation grow amid the ongoing pandemic.
The clinic on Paradise Road specialises in optimum nutrition to support mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, learning and behavioural issues (in both children and adults), psychotic disorders and cognitive decline.
With a personalised approach to nutritional therapy at its core, the clinic identifies biological and physiological imbalances and offers tailored dietary and supplementation recommendations for each individual to get to the root of their problem.
As well as having positive effects on mental health issues, the changes recommended may also have a significant effect on lifestyle factors such as better sleep, increased energy levels and weight loss.
The Centre for Mental Health predicts that up to 10 million people (almost a fifth of the population) will need either new or additional mental health support as a direct consequence of the crisis. Of these, 1.5 million will be children and young people under 18.
Lorraine Perretta is a nutritional therapist for mental wellbeing, a Fellow of the institute and the author of Food for Thought.
She said: “There is no doubt we are seeing the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the nation here at the clinic, with more people suffering from anxiety and insomnia than ever before.
“A personalised approach is at the very heart of the work we do. Every person is different and therefore every solution needs to be tailored to the individual.
“We deal with the full spectrum of mental health issues from mild anxiety to psychotic disorders, but always with the same personalised approach.”
The chief executive of the charity MQ: Mental Health Research Lea Milligan said: “It is only through research that we can fully understand what impact the pandemic is having on our mental health.
“The impact that the tight new restrictions that have been brought in has on the mental health of the most vulnerable people is not yet known and may not be for some time to come.
“That is why it is vital we invest in research at this pivotal moment in time to help safeguard our mental health.”
Eat well – There has never been a more important time to eat well and support your immune system. Choose foods rich in vitamin D (oily fish, red meat, egg yolks and liver), selenium (tuna, pork, wholewheat pasta and brazil nuts) as well as vitamin A (sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach) and vitamin C (red peppers and kiwi fruit) and reduce toxins such as smoking and alcohol.
Sleep well – Sleep is known to be good for the immune system and now is a great time to cosy up with a good book and have as many early nights as possible.
Be kind – to yourself. It’s a tough time for everyone so if you have days when you feel a little low, take comfort in the fact that you are not the only person feeling like this.
Get into nature – Take the opportunity to get out into fresh air and nature. It’s good exercise and it’s also good for your mental wellbeing. Take time to appreciate the smell of freshly cut grass, the birds singing – or maybe just the fact that there isn’t as much traffic.
Find what works for you – We’re all different so whilst one person may find yoga and meditation helpful, another may prefer running and weight lifting. The secret is to find what works for you and make your lockdown survival personal to your needs.
Personalise your approach – whatever you do, make sure you tailor the approach just for you. We are all different and remembering this is vital to our success. Whether it’s good nutrition, doing more exercise or changing lifestyle habits, remember that no two people are the same and so the approach you take should be personal and meaningful to you.
Remember, don’t expect too much of yourself. You are more likely to be successful if you make small, gradual changes, which are long-lasting and will therefore give you a greater sense of achievement.
Online appointments at the Brain Bio Clinic, Richmond, are available online or by calling 0208 614 7822.