Lifestyle interventions in the mental health care


We´re cordially inviting you for a lecture on interconnectedness of mental and physical health and holistic approach of care for people with mental illness.

Lecturing will be prof. Philip Ward from Australian UNSW, Director of Schizophrenia Research Unit at Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research and prof. Felipe Barreto Schuch from Brazilian Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Head of Physical activity and Mental Health Research Laboratory. Both are among the world class researchers in the area of lifestyle interventions, namely effects of physical activity and nutrition on prevention and treatment of mental disorders. State-of-the-art information will be presented in relation to stigmatization of people with mental illness. A holistic model of care for people with mental illness, which doesn´t omit their physical health, will be introduced.


12:30 - 13:30
prof. Felipe Barreto Schuch
"Physical activity as a non-stigmatizing effective intervention for supporting mental health and treating mental illnesses: exploring evidence, strategies and barriers."

Mental disorders are highly prevalent, multifactorial, and hard to treat disorders. A significant amount of people with mental disorders are not receiving minimally adequated treatment. Physical activity (PA) and exercise are well-known strategies to prevent and treat cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and growing evidence has demonstrated that PA and exercise are also effective in preventing and treating mental disorders. In this talk, we aim to 1) explore the evidence on the role of PA and exercise as a preventive strategy, as well as, its use as a non-stigmatized intervention for promoting mental and physical health, and quality of life of people with mental disorders; 2) discuss the "best exercise" for people with mental illness, and 3) discuss the most common barriers experienced by people with mental illness in Low Middle-Income Countries.

13:30 - 13:45 coffee break

13:45 - 15:15
prof. Philip B. Ward
"All together now – linking physical and mental health to reduce stigma and improve holistic health care for people living with mental illness"

There is growing recognition of the critical role that physical health and well-being pays in achieving the best possible outcomes for people living with mental illness. This lecture will firstly outline the evidence for the role of physical activity, exercise and fitness in improving depression outcomes and preventing new cases among the general population. The critical role of healthy eating in reducing psychiatric symptoms and reducing weight gain often seen in people with mental illness will also be highlighted. The evidence for lifestyle and life-skills interventions as acceptable and effective methods to enhance physical and mental health outcomes and improve cognitive performance will be presented. The critical role of establishing a culture of wellness in mental health services and those they serve will be highlighted, along with empowering those living with mental disorders to demand high-quality holistic care that doesn’t see physical health compromised as a consequence of experiencing mental illness.


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