Mental Health & Physical Health
Many people with long term physical illnesses can suffer psychological distress as an obvious result. Services struggle to meet the needs of those who have both mental health problems and chronic physical disabilities leading to many feeling overlooked and forgotten about. Social isolation also has a huge effect on mental wellbeing, people who suffer inaccessibility feel as if they’re in a hopeless situation and that nothing can be done to help them, therefore creating uncertainty when accessing new services.
Many people with mental health problems can develop physical problems just as easily, although the mental health problem is often overlooked when a physical problem arises. This is because health professionals are understandably more concerned with the physical problem and may not be privy to the underlying mental health troubles. Physical health and mental health have been divided in the past by healthcare professionals, although they are encouraged more recently to consider the two when determining the best treatment. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help manage low level mental health problems by changing the way you think and behave. Increasingly it is being used as a first point of call for problems such as mild anxiety and depression, and although it doesn’t have the side effects of psychiatric medication such as weight gain, fatigue, nausea etc. it can cause a person to become emotionally distressed or uncomfortable when confronting their anxieties, so is always best to consult a doctor before pursuing.
The risk of heart disease, type II diabetes or respiratory disease is dramatically increased for people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia/bi-polar, as they’re less likely to receive sufficient physical health checks relating to body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and cholesterol. They’re also less likely to be offered support for giving up smoking, reducing alcohol intake or healthy eating & exercise. This is because severe mental illnesses are already hard to monitor and need continuous reviews.
The chemical dopamine that gives us that ‘positive feeling’ is found to be lower in some mental illnesses, therefore mind-altering drugs such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol are often used as a substitute. Healthy eating along with exercise is also an important contributor to our physical and mental wellbeing, when we exercise the brain releases endorphins which lifts our mood and increases energy levels, so even a small amount of exercise each day can really help.
At Mary Seacole House we offer support regarding overall wellbeing by providing one to one support for issues effecting negatively on mental health, as well as activities that improve physical wellbeing such as;
Culinary Collaboration – sharing healthy recipes & tips, shopping on a budget and social inclusion through food preparation, and eating together.
Walking Group – informal & relaxed walks around the local area.
Cycling Group – bicycles provided for brisk rides around the local area.
We pride ourselves on giving information and options, enabling members to live the lives they choose. We understand that everybody has Mental Health & Physical Health and the two should not be treated as separate matters. When experiencing problems with either/or the approach should be person centred.
If you would like to know more about our services please do get in touch.
We welcome any comments below.