There were some fantastic, informative and inspiring presentations at the inaugural Equally Well Symposium. A number were recorded and the videos are now available on our website (under the relevant speaker). We’ve summarised just a few of those here.
Simon Rosenbaum gave an empathic and evidence-based presentation on levelling the health playing field through physical activity, focusing in on what successful implementation of activity-based programs looks like. When it comes to exercise, the evidence is overwhelming for both physical and mental health. And while physical exercise can be great for treatment,
Simon made the point that physical movement needs to be treated as an integral part of treatment, not an adjunct – and that the ‘best bang for
“We know that telling people to go for a walk doesn’t work for the general population, so it’s not going to work for people with mental illness. Supervised structured exercise, including both diet and exercise, having qualified staff (tertiary trained dieticians, exercise physiologists), at least two supervised sessions per week, training existing workforce, peer support staff and making sure the culture is right – that’s what works.”
Fay Jackson delivered a powerful and personal presentation to finish the Symposium, pleading with health professionals to truly listen to people experiencing mental illness, sharing some of her own personal and professional experiences. She asked some very tough questions, challenged us all to seek excellence and advocated against discrimination against people experiencing mental illness. She advocated the Planetree Model, used by Queensland Government Metro South Health. Planetree is a person-centred and holistic approach to healthcare which means, caring for each person as an individual, recognising their mental, social, emotional, spiritual and physical care needs.
Jade Ryall, from Flourish Australia, presented on their Back On Track Health (BOTH) Program. This program focuses on health promotion and prevention, supporting physical health and wellbeing conversations and self-management activities. People are supported and encouraged to self-manage their own physical health and wellbeing; regularly review their physical health and wellbeing; and take action by regularly accessing primary health care services, particularly GPs, to address their health concerns.
Jade shared the excellent self-management resources, which have been co-designed and co-developed with people accessing services. These include:
- The Physical Health Cards
- Physical Health Microsite and
- Information sheets
An evaluation of the resources has shown promising results in supporting people to review their physical health and connect with a GP to address their needs.
For more information about the resources please contact Flourish Australia’s Back on Track Health Manager on 02 9393 9000.