A concept known as ‘flourishing’ is changing how mental illness is managed, Elizabeth Tracey reports


If you’re one of the vast number of people who are experiencing mental illness, a new book by Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Meg Chisolm may help. The title of the book is “From Survive to Thrive, Living Your Best Life With Mental Illness,” and Chisolm says it relies on a concept of flourishing in life to improve mental health over the long term.

Chisolm: The first step is getting the acute symptoms under control. Once the acute symptoms are under control where do we go from here? And I think a lot of people stop at just getting the acute symptoms under control, which doesn’t bode well in the long run for staying well. If you don’t have a lot of meaning and purpose in your life why would you continue taking your antidepressant? There’s so much more to life than just being disease free. Doctors traditionally haven’t asked about these aspects of a person’s life and they haven’t seen them as relevant to their health.  :33

Chisolm says people need to advocate for themselves to integrate flourishing into their treatment plan. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.