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Editor's letter
Mental health training

Members are telling us they need support with their mental and spiritual health and the industry is starting to see this need. Now’s the time to fast-track our response


Insight is telling us the pandemic has prompted permanent changes to consumers’ aspirations and lifestyle choices, with health – especially mental and spiritual – now a significant priority for the majority.

We’re increasingly hearing that the main reason people are joining health clubs is to support their mind, as well as their body and in this issue of HCM we dive into the subject, exploring ways the industry can support members in their aspirations to be more whole, balanced and well in this Stressazoic Era.

This change in priorities from ‘how I look’, to ‘how I feel’ is a huge shift that’s taking us ever closer to the health sector, with all the opportunities that brings for partnerships: it’s about ‘mind, body and spirit’ rather than an obsession with physical perfection.

The challenge is meeting customers where they are with services that exceed expectations, in ways that are sustainable operationally and focused on prevention.

On page 62 Kath Hudson reports from an excellent ACE (American Council on Exercise) summit on mental health, sharing insights into key areas of support for both staff and members, along with the science.

We also talk to our panel of experts about the opportunities that exist to upskill the workforce to deliver preventative mental health support (page 54).

Interventions can take the form of programming – as developed by Gymbox, with its ‘Weight lifted’ classes that use therapeutic tremoring (page 58) and The Soma Space, that delivers trauma-informed weightlifting (page 57), while there are also examples of new courses from the John W Brick Mental Health Foundation and Mental Health & Exercise Coaching (page 59).

As EMDR psychotherapist and personal trainer Andrew Keefe says, “the idea that there’s a distinction between physical health and mental health is completely arbitrary and I encourage colleagues on both sides to talk to each other more, because there’s an enormous amount to gain. Eventually I’d like us to get to a point where we don’t have PTs and psychotherapists, but one training that incorporates both the body and the mind.”

We’d like to see qualifying bodies embrace this approach and integrate disciplines to create a new style of mind/body training, so the sector can take the lead in delivering mental health support in a de-medicalised setting.

Fundamentally, this must be as a preventative measure, as health clubs are not an appropriate setting for serious mental health interventions, but – just as we have spent decades advocating prevention for physical health – now is the time to do so for mental health too.

Liz Terry, editor
[email protected]

 


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18 Jul 2024 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
 
 
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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2024 issue 3

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Leisure Management - Mental health training

Editor's letter

Mental health training


Members are telling us they need support with their mental and spiritual health and the industry is starting to see this need. Now’s the time to fast-track our response

The Gymbox ‘Weight lifted’ class uses therapeutic tremoring photo: gymbox

Insight is telling us the pandemic has prompted permanent changes to consumers’ aspirations and lifestyle choices, with health – especially mental and spiritual – now a significant priority for the majority.

We’re increasingly hearing that the main reason people are joining health clubs is to support their mind, as well as their body and in this issue of HCM we dive into the subject, exploring ways the industry can support members in their aspirations to be more whole, balanced and well in this Stressazoic Era.

This change in priorities from ‘how I look’, to ‘how I feel’ is a huge shift that’s taking us ever closer to the health sector, with all the opportunities that brings for partnerships: it’s about ‘mind, body and spirit’ rather than an obsession with physical perfection.

The challenge is meeting customers where they are with services that exceed expectations, in ways that are sustainable operationally and focused on prevention.

On page 62 Kath Hudson reports from an excellent ACE (American Council on Exercise) summit on mental health, sharing insights into key areas of support for both staff and members, along with the science.

We also talk to our panel of experts about the opportunities that exist to upskill the workforce to deliver preventative mental health support (page 54).

Interventions can take the form of programming – as developed by Gymbox, with its ‘Weight lifted’ classes that use therapeutic tremoring (page 58) and The Soma Space, that delivers trauma-informed weightlifting (page 57), while there are also examples of new courses from the John W Brick Mental Health Foundation and Mental Health & Exercise Coaching (page 59).

As EMDR psychotherapist and personal trainer Andrew Keefe says, “the idea that there’s a distinction between physical health and mental health is completely arbitrary and I encourage colleagues on both sides to talk to each other more, because there’s an enormous amount to gain. Eventually I’d like us to get to a point where we don’t have PTs and psychotherapists, but one training that incorporates both the body and the mind.”

We’d like to see qualifying bodies embrace this approach and integrate disciplines to create a new style of mind/body training, so the sector can take the lead in delivering mental health support in a de-medicalised setting.

Fundamentally, this must be as a preventative measure, as health clubs are not an appropriate setting for serious mental health interventions, but – just as we have spent decades advocating prevention for physical health – now is the time to do so for mental health too.

Liz Terry, editor
[email protected]


Originally published in Health Club Management 2024 issue 3

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