World J Psychiatry Ment Health Res | Volume 6, Issue 1 | Review Article | Open Access

How Can Psychiatry Catch Up with the Wave of the Future During the Current Global Mental Health and Addiction Crises? A Clinician’s Perspective

Sebastian Salicru

Private Practice, PTS Psychology, Canberra, Australia

*Correspondance to: Sebastian Salicru 

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We are experiencing global mental health and addiction crises that have created unprecedented challenges for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. These crises cannot be dealt with using traditional delivery models of services alone. They have created the need for interventions using new ways of delivering mental healthcare services. This conceptual paper explores how psychiatrists can contribute to alleviating the current crises through the revival of mental health self-help. Coined as ‘the wave of the future’ over three decades ago, mental health self-help is an umbrella term that encompasses a multiplicity of participatory and collaborative approaches dating back to the 1950s. Integrating extant theoretical and empirical findings, and taking a scientist-practitioner stance, this paper unpacks the therapeutic factors and mechanisms of change embedded in mental health self-help and self-help groups. Their corresponding outcomes and benefits are also highlighted by elucidating the linkages between theory and practice. The paper further discusses how psychiatrists can support the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in global mental health, beyond what has been traditionally understood. By examining past and present relevant research findings to explore the future of mental health, this paper advances understanding of the need for collaboration between psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, end-users and the community at large, as a way of moving out of the current crises.


Global mental health crisis; Addiction; COVID-19; Mental health self-help; Self-help groups; Helper therapy principle; Single-session interventions


Salicru S. How Can Psychiatry Catch Up with the Wave of the Future during the Current Global Mental Health and Addiction Crisis? A Clinician’s Perspective. World J Psychiatry Ment Health Res. 2022; 6(1): 1031..

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