Management of mental health by complementary medicine practitioners

This study is part of a broader program of research seeking to understand how people use complementary medicines (CM) to help manage their mental health and their health care decision-making. The research program is also seeking to understand the services provided by CM practitioners and how they may be integrated into the mental health system.

We know that people are consulting with complementary medicine practitioners for their mental health, but we don’t know how these practitioners help their patients to manage mental health in clinical practice. This study is focused on naturopaths, Western herbalists and non-dietetic nutritionists as they are commonly consulted with by people with mental health problems.

This research is important

  • It will provide an understanding of how CM practitioners help people to manage their mental health, which will assist other health practitioners and the public to better understand the services they provide;
  • Inform undergraduate and post-graduate training needs for CM practitioners;
  • Inform the development of practice guidelines for the CM professions that will enable practitioners to provide optimum care for patients with mental health problems.

The research team

This study is being conducted by a team of researchers, CM practitioners and educators. We are pleased to share a common goal in being committed to strengthening the development of meaningful and practice relevant research in complementary healthcare that benefits the public and practitioners.

  • Dr Erica McIntyre, Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Joanna Harnett, The University of Sydney
  • Dr Matthew Leach, University of South Australia
  • Dr Claudine van De Venter, University of Capetown
  • Ms Randa Karzon, Endeavour Collage of Natural Therapies


This study is being funded by an Endeavour Research Seed Grant.

Research outputs

  • Results will be published in academic journals and presented at academic conferences
  • A summary of results will be published on this website
  • A summary of results will be made available to all relevant stakeholders including professional associations, educational institutions and CM practitioners
  • Results will be used to inform professional development training for CM practitioners

More information?

Would you like more information about the study or to receive a summary report of the results?
Please send me a request via email at

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