“S(UP)PORT”: Fostering the physical health well being and fitness of mental health consumers and enhancing community participation – Kayleigh Ellis
Kayleigh discussed the work that is happening in Glebe and Camperdown (NSW) regarding physical wellbeing. These areas are known to house people that are unconnected from health services. A program has been set up to help these people gain access to information and activities to enhance physical and mental wellbeing. Although the workers do not identify as mental health practitioners, physical health is interrelated to mental health. Classes such as yoga are run by individuals who themselves have suffered from mental illness to provide a deeper understanding and connection to this community. It also helps that those with mental health problems will feel accepted and free of stigma. The program is open to anyone living in the area.
Physical Health in Mental Health: Driving best practice from the consumer perspective – Sarah Young
Sarah began by discussing the high rates of comorbidity between mental and physical health issues. She highlighted that often there is confusion between professionals regarding where their responsibility begins and ends. A study was conducted called ‘Lets get Physical.’ This study aimed to balance out the discussion around this topic to include consumers as currently the body of research reflects the views of professionals. The study focused on how individuals described their health. An interesting finding was that the majority of the sample described physical and mental health as interrelated. It is hoped the research will work towards improving ease of access in individuals currently not accessing services. Another outcome was directed towards carers and helping them to increase motivation in the people they care for.