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Welcome to Introduction to Nutritional Psychiatry

Welcome to the Introduction to Nutritional Psychiatry (Nutri-Psyche) course!

Welcome to the Introduction to Nutritional Psychiatry (Nutri-Psyche) course!

This course has been developed by the pioneers of Nutritional Psychiatry, the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University. Food & Mood is a world-leading, multi-disciplinary research centre that aims to understand the complex ways in which what we eat influences our brain, mood, and mental health. The Centre is unique in the world; it is the only centre comprehensively focusing on the Nutritional Psychiatry research across fundamental science through to public health and education and training.

The course addresses the need to identify and evaluate dietary and nutritional approaches for improving mental and brain health. The content of the course is evidence-based with practical recommendations for implementations.

Considerable evidence now exists for the role of health behaviours, including diet, in prevention and management of mental illness and the physical co-morbidities common in those with mental illness. It is well established that people with severe mental illness have a 10–20-year shorter life expectancy when compared with the general population, primarily due to physical chronic diseases.

The 2020 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists clinical practice guidelines for mood disorders have cited lifestyle interventions as foundational and ‘non-negotiable’ in treatment. However, largely due to the recency of the evidence and recommendations, there are critical gaps in service delivery within real-world clinical settings.

This course aims to start addressing these critical gaps by providing you with knowledge in current research and guidelines on diet and nutrition, as well as practical skills in implementing nutritional care in management of mental health conditions.

What will I be learning?

In this course we’ll address the fundamentals knowledge and concepts in Nutritional Psychiatry. As a result, you’ll notice that this course has a focus on a broader understanding of diet and nutrition for the management of mental health disorders.

We would like to acknowledge that this course does not cover eating disorders or alcohol and substance misuse.

Your learning outcomes

By the end of this CPD course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify and discuss the current evidence and guidelines on diet and nutrition in the management of mental health disorders. 
  • Understand common comorbidities and explore the physiological mechanisms by which diet influences mental and brain health. 
  • Gain practical skills in the implementation of dietary intervention for the management of mental health conditions in your professional practice. 
  • Reflect and review your current practices and identify opportunities for quality improvement. 

Meet the team

Your Lead Educator for this course is Dr Tetyana Rocks. Tetyana is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, research fellow, and the director of a newly established Food & Mood Academy. Tetyana is a passionate advocate for health equality and is dedicated to education of clinicians and consumers in Nutritional Psychiatry. If you haven’t already, view Tetyana’s FutureLearn profile and follow her for course updates, feedback, and discussions.

Throughout this course, Tetyana will also be joined by experts in the field of Nutritional Psychiatry, led by Alfred Deakin Professor Felice Jacka OAM – the pioneer of the field, the co-director of the Food & Mood Centre, and the founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. Felice is internationally recognised for having led the seminal studies in the field, including the first studies of: diet quality and its relationship to clinical depression and anxiety in adults; diet quality and depression in adolescents; and early life nutrition and emotional health in young children. She also led the first clinical trial to investigate the impact of improving diet quality as a treatment for clinical depression – the famous SMILES trial.

Team of experts:

A special thank you to Megan Pilon, Chantelle Erwin and Dr Daniel Kratochvil.

New to FutureLearn?

If you’re new to FutureLearn, you may want to familiarise yourself with unique social learning features of the platform and knowing how much of the course you’ve completed. You may also be interested in learning more about FutureLearn’s Terms and Conditions and how they apply to you.

Proof of study

On successful completion of this course, you will be provided with a Certificate of Achievement, which also includes a record of the CPD hours. To receive a Certificate of Achievement, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • complete 90% of the steps (using the “Mark as complete” button)
  • attempt every multiple-choice test question (part 1 at the end of Week 2 and part 2 at the end of Week 3) and
  • achieve an overall score of at least 70% on the multiple-choice test (part 1 and 2).

Once you have met these requirements then you will find your certificate in the Your Achievements section of your Your Learning. Please contact the platform support directly via the FutureLearn Support if you are still having problems.

Further information on the multiple-choice test and learning options is available in Step 1.3 and Step 2.20.

References to academic literature

Throughout the course, you will see references to academic literature. Some of it is open access and some can be accessed either through institutional access (if you are affiliated with the particular university), or purchased through the publisher’s web site.

Please note that these are not essential readings, but rather complimentary literature which provides further information on specific topic(s). We are not testing your knowledge on this literature, it is provided purely as a knowledge extension.

Your task

Watch the video to find out more about what you’ll be covering in this course.

When you’re done, use the comments to introduce yourself and share why you’re taking this course and what you hope to get out of it.

We ask that everyone post comments in English. Posting in one common language will help us all learn from one another.

A free and easy resource is Google Translate.

Next, select the “Mark as complete” button and move on to Step 1.2.


Malhi, G. S., Bell, E., Bassett, D., Boyce, P., Bryant, R., Hazell, P., … & Murray, G. (2021). The 2020 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists clinical practice guidelines for mood disorders. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 55(1), 7-117.

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