Mental Health Foundation conducted research on 31 people who have acute mental health problems in Northern Ireland. The results of the study revealed that physical exercise had a significant impact on people with health problems.
Reporting from the Mentalhealth website, 31 study participants were asked to participate in a three-month training program. As a result, participants reported an improvement in their sleep quality, better moods, more energy and a more mentally alert feeling.
Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said, “At this Foundation, we want to understand how people with severe mental health problems can be helped to live an active and healthy life”.
Some participants reported that the program made them able to build new routines, make adjustments to things like diet, and make the structure of their lives clearer.
The effect is very important for people who have the responsibility to care, because weekly activities create a way out for them to be more socially active.
These findings are included in a new report funded by Disability Research on Independent Living & Learning. The fund aims to provide support to programs that encourage people with severe mental health problems to become more active.
This 12-week program is run in early 2019 for people with severe mental health problems in five locations in Northern Ireland. There were 31 participants who participated from all age groups.
The trainer from the Platinum Training Institute designed a program that suited the level of fitness and the ability of the participants.
“Today, people living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder live 10 to 20 years less than mentally healthy people in general. Being physically active is the most effective way to connect with others and is good for one’s mental health, “Mark Rowland said
Liam, one of the research colleagues in the report said, “The participants quickly formed working relationships with fellow participants who had mental illness and that was beneficial for our research”.
The report also stresses the need for people with mental health problems to consult with health experts and health care providers regarding their mental health problems. They must be supported to participate in similar programs.