Authors: Rebecca Hallam
Event: 2018 TheMHS Conference
Subject: My Mind, My Body, Me: Implementing a 12 week physical health program in a youth mental health setting.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Weight gain and increased cardio-metabolic risk are common side effects of several psychotropic medications, adding to the potential challenges experienced when living with early psychosis, however the inclusion of Exercise Physiologists within youth mental health settings is unusual. Evidence suggests that supervised exercise interventions can be effective at reducing unwanted weight gain. Exercise Physiology services were therefore implemented within the recovery program at the headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program (hYEPP) in South Eastern Melbourne from the outset. hYEPP considers mental health and physical health as fundamentally connected. We take a holistic approach when supporting young people with their individual recovery journey, to improve their quality of life as well as physical and mental health outcomes. An exclusive 12 week Program titled My Body, My Mind, Me (MMMBM) has recently been created to improve young peoples’ overall health profile and prevent/manage the development of metabolic and cardiovascular disease, specifically targeting those at high risk. Physical health screening of all young people entering the hYEPP program is helping to identify those at most risk of poor physical health outcomes. This paper reports on the work involved in creating and tailoring the MMMBM program specifically to meet the needs of these young people.