Exercise Prescription in EPI: “The Heads Up and Feet Down Experience”.



J. JAckson, S. Streight

The value of exercise for treatment of mental illness and promotion of mental health is well evidenced and growing in popularity as natural treatment and remedies for our health are increasingly sought after. A regular exercise regimen has been shown to be as effective as many other forms of treatment modalities, but is not often prescribed in the same way as cognitive therapy or pharmacotherapy. “Exercise represents a promising new treatment option that may supplement current psychosocial and pharmacological interventions for psychosis. A large body of work suggests that exercise can improve cardio-metabolic and health behavior and facilitate neurogenesis in areas of the brain that are notably impacted by psychosis.” ( Exercise Treatments for Psychosis : A Review; Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry; Vijay et al; 2017) The benefit of exercise for clients in an EPI is multifold, and can include overcoming negative symptoms, coping with positive symptoms, countering metabolic effects of medication, improving mood, alleviating anxiety, coping with addiction, socialization, and more balanced time use. It also can be cost effective at a time when finances in mental health programs are limited.
The Heads Up! Program created an evidence based program to assess needs, prescribe an exercise and monitor change over time. This workshop will allow you to learn about the program’s experience and engage in group discussion about other program’s experiences or ideas.