No Health without Mental Health

25 May, 2020

Mental health is a growing interest in society given the most recent events surrounding COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus).  It refers to one’s cognitive and emotional well-being.

Mental health is not merely the absence of a mental disorder but exists in a continuum of emotions. The new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with family members, friends and colleagues has proven to be a challenge for many. These temporary changes can be particularly difficult for people with these types of conditions. Physiotherapy is a recognised profession in the management of mental health. Physiotherapy aims to optimise well-being, empower individuals, and improve overall quality of life by promoting functional movement, movement awareness, physical activity, and exercise.

Mental Health

Physiotherapy in improving mental health

As primary health care providers, physiotherapists are involved in the prevention and promotion of health, including mental health. These type of issues are one of the leading causes of overall disease burden worldwide. 

  • 1 in 4 people will experience some form of mental health issue during their life
  • 1 in 6 people are likely to have had mental health issues in the past week
  • People with mental health issues are more likely to have poor physical health

Physiotherapists screen, assess and provide early interventions to deal with the physical co-morbidities of a person with mental health issues. Not only this, but physiotherapists also play a large role in raising awareness of these issues, provide pain and chronic disease management, all while facilitating self-management of mental health conditions and associated co-morbidities. Physiotherapists can offer a range of physical approaches in the treatment and management of mental health conditions.  Physiotherapy can offer an extensive range of physical approaches inclusive of:

  • Exercise: walking, running, cycling, swimming, gardening, dancing
  • Movement: Tai Chi, yoga etc
  • Relaxation techniques: meditation, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation techniques
  • Body and movement awareness: exercises to improve balance and coordination

Looking after YOU:

During times of uncertainty and worry such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to look after your mental health. Regular exercise is one of the best therapies for improving mood and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Other health benefits of physical activity include:

  • Improve quality of life
  • Improve physical health
  • Alleviate psychiatric and social disability
  • Prevent mental illness

It is important you can take-action by undertaking healthy activities whilst organising your daily routine so that you bring some sense of the each of the following:

  • Pleasure: reflect on good things, cooking, reading, listening to music, self-care etc
  • Achievement: cleaning, learning a new instrument, set a goal at the beginning of the day or week etc
  • Connectiveness: looking after pets, talking to family or friends, social media etc.

Your physiotherapist is a trained health professional that can assist in achieving your physical and mental health goals. There is no one prescription for exercise and mental health. However, choosing an exercise or activity that you find enjoyable will help you stick to it. Get active, stay active and talk to  physiotherapist at Gen Physio today to help develop a mindfulness program based on your individualised needs.

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