Lesley Braun

Session Title:

The Role of Complementary Medicine in Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing

Session Outline:

Due to the challenges of the past couple of years, Australians are seeking support for their mental health in record numbers. Being able to support patients in this area is becoming increasingly important, and in this practical and pragmatic presentation, Professor Lesley Braun will present a novel paradigm that can be used to help better understand patient mental wellbeing needs: the Mental Wellbeing Spiral.

The Mental Wellbeing Spiral can be used as part of an integrative patient assessment and to guide treatment choices – including dietary, lifestyle, and other complementary medicine strategies. This presentation will review clinically relevant information on the efficacy of herbs and nutritional ingredients in managing everyday stress, anxiety, and insomnia; as well as evidence-based dietary and lifestyle advice for enhanced patient outcomes in these areas.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the Mental Wellbeing Spiral and utilise this as a clinical paradigm in understanding patient mental wellbeing needs;
  2. Discuss the appropriate use of a range of complementary medicine ingredients for stress, anxiety, and insomnia;
  3. Evaluate and select the most appropriate complementary medicine options for patients experiencing stress, anxiety, and/or insomnia.


Professor Lesley Braun has been Global Director of the Blackmores Institute since 2014. Key activities of the Institute include facilitating research and innovation with university and commercial partners, developing and delivering award-winning education and science communications for both retail staff and health professionals. The Blackmores Institute consists of a team of 24 people and has won 21 national and international awards for education and research over the last 4 years.

In 2018, she was named the CEO Magazine’s Health & Pharmaceutical Executive of the Year, has been past vice-president of National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA), an executive of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) interest group for integrative therapies and an academic board member for several colleges, including the Australian College of Pharmacy (current).

In 2020, Lesley was invited by the federal government to join the working party developing the nations Modern Manufacturing Initiative roadmap in regard to medical products. In 2021, she was awarded the Lady Cilento Lifetime achievement award by Complementary Medicines Association, the highest honor in the industry. The same year, she was awarded professorships at Southern Cross University (SCU) and University of Western Sydney (UWS).

She is a well-known presenter and was also the lead author for 5 best-selling textbooks published by Elsevier, ‘Herbs and Natural Supplements – An Evidence-Based Guide’ and ‘The Essentials of Herbs and Natural Supplements’ in addition to contributing to medical dictionaries, publishing in numerous peer-reviewed journals and founding editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Advances in Integrative Medicine (published by Elsevier).