Clients with enduring mental health problems have been learning about healthy living thanks to a group of NHS staff in Wakefield.
The community rehabilitation service, which is part of the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, have run a weekly healthy living group for clients, to promote awareness of healthy foods, exercise, a structured day and a more healthy lifestyle.
The group has met for 10 weeks at the Trust’s Garden Street Centre. This was the second group run by the community rehabilitation service and it appears to have been as successful as the first.
The idea for the group was originally initiated by the ‘Meaningful Day’ pack, which was produced by Lilly, one of the world’s largest research based pharmaceutical companies. Using this pack as a basis, the weekly group meetings were devised by occupational therapists and dieticians and were attended by clients who were interested in learning about healthy foods, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and, for some, weight reduction.
The first group was audited and showed extremely positive results, including evidence that service users had improved their dietary behaviour, experienced increased self-confidence, self-motivation and reduced anxieties. Two members of the group successfully lost weight following the course, after gaining understanding about healthy eating.
The latest group was run in the community at Garden Street, rather than a hospital base, and clients from community rehabilitation services in Wakefield and Castleford attended. Again, the group saw very positive results and clients learnt about healthy living and exercise. The sessions were always interactive, allowing clients to taste foods rather than just learn about them. A badminton group has now started at Lightwaves Leisure Centre, attended by some of the clients from the group.
Helen Tyler, occupational therapist, said, ‘We’re really pleased with the positive outcomes we’ve seen from the group. Clients gained a lot from the sessions, not just education about staying healthy but also social interaction and confidence building. We’re looking forward to running more groups in the future.’