May is Mental Health Month, sponsored by Mental Health America, and the theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body spotlighting tools and resources that benefit minds and bodies together. Research has shown that people with psychiatric disabilities may be at higher risk of being overweight or obese than people without these disabilities, which can put them at risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other conditions. Research has also shown that wellness programs can be tailored to meet the unique needs of people with psychiatric disabilities and support their health and wellness. The Fitness #4Mind4Body campaign encourages people to find ways to integrate mental and physical health and wellness to improve participation and quality of life. Here are some examples of tools from NIDILRR-funded projects and others which may help on the path to overall wellness:
Bike Share Intervention: Improving Wellness & Community Access from the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Community Living and Participation for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities shows how a community bike share program can increase wellness and improve access and participation.
This project also offers resources on yoga, walking for exercise, implementing physical activity programs, hosting an inclusive activity fair, and much more: http://tucollaborative.org/physical-activity-health/
NEW-R from the RRTC on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions is a 3-month intensive program that targets the weight management and health needs of people with psychiatric disabilities. The program was spotlighted in our Research In Focus series: https://www.naric.com/?q=en/content/new-program-shows-promise-helping-people-serious-mental-illness-fight-obesity-and-embrace
Focal Point v26 Health Body, Healthy Mind (PDF) from the RRTC on Pathways to Positive Futures explores how the mind and body impact each other, and how individuals can strive to achieve good balance through physical wellness, medication management, and mind-body practices such as mindfulness.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has assembled a diverse selection of guides focused on wellness from the Center for Integrated Health Solutions and other sources. These guides cover nutrition, physical activity and weight management, wellness informed care, and diabetes management.
Are you interested in diving into the research on physical wellness and psychiatric disability? Explore more than 300 abstracts of research from the NARIC Collection on psychiatric disabilities and wellness, physical activity, and exercise! Contact an information specialist if you’d like assistance with your exploration.