Embracing Holistic Mental Healthcare

Headshot of Kristian Ranta, CEO and Founder of Meru Health By Kristian Ranta
CEO, Founder
Meru Health

As the United States grapples with a profound mental health crisis, more and more digital solutions aim to increase access to high quality care. But many are merely replicating traditional mental healthcare in a virtual setting. We need to follow the growing body of evidence showing that holistic care is the future of effective mental healthcare.


What is holistic mental healthcare and how is it different?

Holistic mental healthcare is a personalized approach that considers people in the context of their everyday lives. It focuses not only on symptoms and diagoses, but also on physical health, nutrition, movement, breath, sleep, and individual stress responses — areas that are typically beyond the standard protocol when it comes to treating mental health.

Holistic healthcare empowers people to take control of their health by acquiring skills and knowledge that help them address the root cause of their stress or mental health symptoms. So, while someone may ultimately benefit from therapy and/or medication, they’ll also be making changes in their everyday lives that impact how they feel. When people are in control of their own well-being, the changes they make are significant and long-lasting.


What does a holistic approach look like in a mental health offering?

There are many ways to think about holistic models of care. Through our research and experience at Meru Health, I’ve found the following qualities are key to offering a truly holistic solution:

  • Personalized care. Each person’s path through treatment must be unique to them. By adopting a personalized approach to well-being rather than one-size-fits-all, people have the opportunity to experiment and learn what works for them.
  • More than mental health. Holistic healthcare goes beyond talk therapy, including a focus on nutrition, sleep, exercise, breath, and relaxation practices. All of these areas ultimately contribute to improved emotional well-being.
  • Powerful practices. Holistic care fits into people’s real, everyday lives. When people learn short, effective skills they can use on their own, they’re building sustainable practices they can use long after a program is complete.
  • Mind-body insight. With biofeedback technology, people can gather real-time data about their body’s stress response through heart rate and breath tracking. Through harnessing the power of biofeedback, people can learn which practices are actually working on a physical level to reduce their stress.


Meru Health’s mind-body approach has revealed a significant impact in treating depression and preventing suicide, with improvements maintained long after treatment. We now know that people make more progress when they work on their mental health and physical health together. I believe traditional therapy and medication will always fall short when people need holistic care to thrive.


Read Meru Health Validation report HERE.

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