Lachlan Best

Lachlan is a Senior Occupational Therapist working with the Macarthur Older People’s Mental Health Team (OPMH) based in South Western Sydney. Lachlan has worked within the NSW Mental Health service for the past 23 years in Northern Sydney, South Eastern Sydney and predominantly in South Western Sydney, including in OPMH for the past 7 years. He has worked previously in Adult Mental Health Rehabilitation and overseen state-wide initiatives in Mental Health and Employment, in addition to working in Mental Health Private Practice.


Title: Live Well : enabling healthy lifestyles as part of routine clinical care

Introduction: Despite increases in life expectancy in Australia, this does not usually mean people are healthier. Health is determined in part by lifestyle and nutrition, which are both modifiable and impact overall health. It is important to address these modifiable determinants of health to increase quality of life and wellbeing. Live Well is an adaptation of the Canadian Fountain of Health program. It provides mental health professionals with the skills, confidence, language and structure to initiate a dialogue about lifestyle with mental health consumers. It supports consumer-directed small, achievable and sustainable lifestyle changes that over time will improve resilience health and wellbeing. The intervention is easy to learn and can be incorporated within routine clinical encounters in mental health.

Method: Clinicians conducted education regarding modifiable lifestyle factors with access to resources both in-person and online. One SMART goal was set in one of the following domains:
• Physical activity
• Social activity
• Healthy eating
• Mental activity
• Mental wellbeing
• Positive thinking
Self-rated wellbeing was rated at outset. Follow-up was conducted at 6 and 12 weeks. Wellbeing, goal achievement and satisfaction with the intervention were rated. Consumers could change the goal during the intervention.

Results & Findings: 65 participants were recruited, 51 completed the intervention. Overall, improvements in the engagement in the domains, self-perceived wellbeing, goal achievement and satisfaction in the intervention were reported.

Discussion: Modifiable lifestyle factors can be addressed to improve health and wellbeing in elderly consumers of Mental Health services as part of routine clinical care.