At Postcode Anywhere we pride ourselves in supporting a range of worthy community initiatives and when we met Consultant Clinical Psychologist Professor Jo Smith who asked for our assistance, we were happy to oblige.
Jo leads the SHAPE (Supporting Health And Promoting Exercise) project team which is based at the McClelland Health and Wellbeing Centre at the University of Worcester City Campus. She told us all about the ground breaking work the Worcestershire Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (WEIS), the University of Worcester and other health partners are doing for young people with psychosis and bipolar disorder who have signed up for the SHAPE programme.
Historically, the physical health needs of young people accessing mental health services have not been adequately examined and addressed. Monitoring has not been systematic, and care plans have not routinely addressed physical health issues. Health interventions are often not coordinated when they are offered, and are difficult to sustain due to lack of facilities and time constraints for clinicians. But all this is about to change.
SHAPE is an exciting new health and wellbeing programme aimed at young people with psychosis or bipolar disorder. It involves a 12 week structured course, which aims to help young people maintain or lose weight, stop smoking, start exercising and start eating more healthily.
Participants will receive support from fitness trainers and exercise specialists, as well as access to the McClelland Centre gym and fitness suite for up to a year. SHAPE will also offer:
- Physical health checks
- Weekly monitoring of fitness, weight and goals. Review at 3 and 12 months
- The opportunity to join a group of similar young people for motivation
- Weekly group exercise sessions
- Advice on: nutrition and diet, smoking cessation, drugs and alcohol
- Relaxation and mindfulness training
Recently we attended the launch event for SHAPE at the University of Worcester’s McClelland Centre. A guided tour revealed a comprehensive range of equipment suitable for a variety of exercises, and demonstrated the quality of the facilities available. We were then provided with a very nutritious (and tasty!) buffet lunch – representing one of the programme’s key focuses: healthy eating. The event was run with the help of University of Worcester students, who assist with the running of SHAPE by acting as personal trainers for the participants of the programme.
Postcode Anywhere is proud to sponsor such a revolutionary new project aiming to improve the lives and wellbeing of young people suffering from mental illnesses. We will continue to give our support to SHAPE, and wish all the best for those involved with the programme.
For more details about SHAPE visit: http://www.hacw.nhs.uk/shape