4284.1: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Table 1

Abstract #11127

A Wellness Program for Persons with Major Mental Illness

David S. Weed, PsyD, Corrigan Mental Health Center, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, 49 Hillside Street, Fall River, MA 02885, (508) 235-7211, david.weed@state.ma.us

Despite overwhelming evidence that adults with major mental illnesses (e.g., schizophrenia, major depression) have significantly higher rates of mortality from preventable illnesses related to smoking, poor nutrition and lack of exercise, little information has been developed specifically to assist persons with major mental illness to address wellness concerns. While an enormous amount of information has become available on all aspects of nutrition, fitness and smoking cessation for the general public, none of this material targets the special barriers and concerns that the chronic mentally ill population faces. And, those who have attempted to use currently available materials with this group find that the information is often inappropriate. Problems arising from the special demands of living in a supervised community residence, attendance at day programs, lack of access to fitness equipment and learning problems associated with major mental illnesses need to be specifically addressed if people with psychiatric disabilities are going to benefit from wellness activities. This poster session will describe a project recently funded by the Massachusetts Health Research Institute to design a workbook and related material based on the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) and the use of Motivational Interviewing techniques to assist persons with mental illnesses to successfully initiate and maintain wellness activities. The poster will describe the initial outcomes of the use of this material in public mental health programs in Southeastern Massachusetts over the past ten months and will point to recommendations for further resource development of targeted materials.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participant in this session will be able to: 1. Identify the major health risks of adults with major mental illnesses and the implications of not addressing these behaviors; 2. Describe the application of the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of behavior change to health promotion with this population; 3. Apply effective strategies that can help to motivate and sustain adults with mental illness as they modify harmful behaviors; and 4. Create a positive and supportive atmosphere that promotes wellness in community-based day and residential settings

Keywords: Mental Illness, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Southeastern Area Office, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA