Having a healthy lifestyle can have a positive impact on our mental health.
Equally, having positive mental health can have a positive impact on our physical health. We can support people to look at their lifestyles and identify areas where they would like to make changes. We also recognise that making changes can be difficult for many of us and that change happens best when we feel in control and it happens at our own pace.
We use the Cycle of Change Model (Prochaska and DiClemente) as a basis of how we support people to consider making lifestyle changes. The model tells us that we go through stages when considering and making changes and that sometimes we go back to old habits. This is true of smoking, dieting, exercise, alcohol and drug use and lots of other behaviours. The model also tells us that this is quite normal – it’s something that we all struggle with so it’s important to be understanding and compassionate.
Wherever possible we will help people to reduce the harm to themselves and others caused by their lifestyle, at the same time as creating opportunities to engage in health lifestyle options. We also know that for some people accessing health services can be difficult so we will support them to get to their GP or arrange appointments to see a nurse. We will also provide support and encouragement where somebody is trying to make changes, such as giving up smoking. This includes access to smoking cessation at some of our services.