190006 Innovative Strategies to Increase Nutritional Status of Mental Health Patients

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sinead Feeney, BSc RD , Nutrition, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mental Health patients can have a number of challenges that impact their nutritional status including diagnosis, medications, environment, food security, nutrient deficiencies, metabolic issues, weight loss/gain and disordered eating. Many patients admitted to hospital have limited resources for accessing nutrition information and nutritious food. Access to dietitians and nutrition education can be difficult for patients due to rising costs of health care. Inpatient hospital programs can be a good place for patients to have access to nutrition information. There are a number of ways in which this information can be disseminated that have been used at St. Paul's Hospital (Vancouver, BC) to improve the nutritional health of patients'. This includes group programs, one on one counseling and weight and lab monitoring systems.

1. Healthy Lifestyles Program: Aims to increase patients' awareness and knowledge of food and nutrition, and the implications for health. A wide range of food, nutrition and health topics are covered.

2. Cooking Group: This group aims to increase a patient's skills in cooking and ability to make foods that are nutritious, easy and inexpensive.

3. Mindful Eating Exercises: Initiated by recent evidence, mindful eating exercises have been introduced into a group setting to assist patients to slow down and become more aware of what, when and how they are eating, to help patients struggling with overeating and weight gain.

4. Metabolic Monitoring Program. Metabolic labs, weights and waist circumferences are monitored and documented on a regular basis to establish appropriate interventions for each individual including group and one-on-one counseling.

In conclusion, a multifaceted approach to nutrition education for mental health patients can increase a patient's access and chances of retaining nutrition information to improve their overall health and nutrition status. The poster will provide a more in depth look at the programs developed, case studies and research.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe innovative ways to increase the nutritional status of mental health patients. 2. Articulate new programs used to increase mindful eating 3. Demonstrate how a cooking group can improve nutrition and food knowledge and healthy eating. 4. Acquire new techniques for teaching nutrition to patients with mental health challenges.

Keywords: Adult and Child Mental Health, Community Outreach

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a registered dietitian and have worked in the Mental Health program at St. Paul's hospital Vancouver for 1.5 years and with the mental health community for over 5 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.