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Healthy Lifestyles Hub

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Moving Together Towards Healthy Lifestyles for All

Pilates Exercise

As part of the Action Plan, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) has prioritised the promotion of healthy lifestyles to enhance the mental and physical well-being of psychiatric patients, psychiatric staff, and the broader public. There is growing evidence highlighting the importance of healthy lifestyles and the positive effects of physical exercise, a balanced diet, and consistent sleep habits on mental health and well-being.

Integrating healthy lifestyle practices into a patient’s treatment and everyday life can supplement and amplify the effects of existing pharmacotherapies and psychotherapies. Furthermore, engaging both psychiatric staff and patients in joint sessions of physical activity can – in addition to improving the physical and mental health of all involved – strengthen connections, cohesion, and collaboration, improve mutual understanding, and reduce hierarchical divisions.

Six videos on nutrition and physical activity form the beginning of the WPA Healthy Lifestyles Hub, which will be a library of resources accessible to colleagues worldwide that can be downloaded for inspiration and application in daily psychiatric practice.

Member Societies are encouraged to share descriptions with the WPA of the activities they use in their clinical practice to promote physical activity, nutrition, and sleep habits amongst patients and staff. After consultations with the WPA, simple smartphone videos of these activities can be produced by the Member Societies to add to the WPA Healthy Lifestyles Hub. This initiative is intended to enhance participation, collaboration, cultural awareness, and inclusivity among all WPA Member Societies.

Improving mental health through the promotion of healthy living is a crucial aspect of public health. By disseminating these lifestyle strategies broadly and providing resources for implementation, the WPA will contribute to the enhancement of public mental health, fostering a healthier, more resilient society.

Physical Activity for Mental Health

Engaging in regular physical activity has been linked to improved mood, reduced anxiety, and cognitive benefits.

Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden has produced three videos (3-5 minutes, each) to guide psychiatric staff and patients in the performance of daily physical activity. The content serves as a resource, offering guidelines and recommendations for incorporating exercises of varying intensity into daily routines.

Nutrition for Mental Health

Proper nutrition, characterised by a diet rich in essential nutrients, is crucial for brain health and overall mental wellness.

The University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Naples, Italy has produced three videos on nutrition, tailoured for adolescents and young adults, which can also be used in clinical adult psychiatric wards. They showcase dialogues that promote awareness of healthy dietary choices in two films and include, in a third film, a 2-min summary offering advice on dietary habits that support mental well-being.

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