Over the last few decades, scientists have been uncovering an uncomfortable truth: What we eat is affecting our mental health. In this lecture, Prof Rucklidge will first briefly describe what is known about dietary patterns and mental health and then discuss the recent paradigm shift of using broad based micronutrients to treat psychiatric disorders, reviewing the hypothesized mechanisms of action and the evidence to date. The talk intends to challenge our current treatment regime for mental disorders and suggest one alternative course of action.
About Professor Julia Rucklidge:
Julia is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she completed her PhD at the University of Calgary in clinical psychology followed by a two year post-doctoral fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In 2000, she joined the Department of Psychology where she teaches child psychology in the Clinical Psychology Programme.
Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions. In the last decade, she and her lab has been running clinical trials investigating the role of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the expression of mental illness, specifically ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety and stress associated with the Canterbury earthquakes. Julia has over 100 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, has been frequently featured in the media, and has given invited talks all over the world on her work on nutrition and mental health. She was the recipient of the Ballin Award 2015 from the NZ Psychologist Society, an award that recognises notably significant contributions to the development or enhancement of clinical psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand. She was also named in the top 100 Most Influential Women in New Zealand in 2015 and received a Braveheart award in 2018 for her contribution to making Christchurch a better place to live. Her 2014 TEDx talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqXHHCc5lA has been viewed over 900,000 times.
Julia is passionate about helping people find alternative treatments for their psychiatric symptoms and being a voice for those who have been let down by the current mental health system.
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