Date of Graduation

Fall 12-20-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


In efforts to challenge the Western medicine’s determination of nutrition as a holistic approach, this paper represents the intent for mental health facilities in California to improve or implement nutrition education curriculum by enhancing interprofessional teams with dietitians as an important component of recovery for severe mental illness patients. There is concrete evidence proving that individuals who are in facilities recovering from mental illnesses have benefited from optimal nutrition consumption. Nutrition education has become a component among the toolbox of recovery options, but unfortunately it is not encouraged enough. Pharmaceutical companies advertise drug therapy as the most effective way to treat a mentally ill person. However, this causes patients to lose their sense of self and are not given the opportunity to try other forms of recovery. Optimal nutrient consumption and nutrition education leads to minimal use of prescription drugs as there have been nutritional interventions demonstrating the improvement of mental disorder symptoms, physical health, and chemical imbalances in the brain. This capstone is an aspect of my fieldwork with Crestwood Behavioral Health Inc. that has led to the recommendations for bringing awareness to this recovery component, for facilities to implement or improve the nutrition education curriculum, and expand collaborative professional teams. There are multiple supportive literature reviews on improving nutrition intake and expanding SMI patients’ knowledge on the topic as being safer for mental and physical health. Nutrition education allows individuals to develop sustainable healthy habits, while reducing risks of physical health complications and improving mental disorders overall.