The Royal College of Psychiatrists Adult Faculty Conference. Newcastle 5th and 6th October 2017
This is always a highly successful event and well attended by clinicians and academics alike. This years conference is in Newcastle, England and included a session on a collaboration between professional football and mental health services. The session was chaired by Alan Currie of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Sport and Exercise Special interest Group.
Amit Mistry a psychiatry trainee currently working with Public Health England began with an overview of current evidence. He highlighted the low levels of activity in the general population and especially in those with mental health problems. The latter group also suffer significantly poorer physical health.
Consultant psychiatrist Paul Rowlands then introduced the Spireites ‘Active for Life’ programme – a collaboration between mental health services and a local professional football club. Mike Noon of Chesterfield FC Community Trust presented details of the initiative with personal testimony from one of the beneficiaries, Scott Atkinson. Scott described the benefits for his own mental and physical health of beginning a 9 week supported programme of fun and physical activity. Louise Herron, an occupational therapist, also reported mental and physical health data highlighting improvements in well-being, BMI and blood pressure. Importantly the programme ends by signposting and supporting participants into longer term physical activities.