Weight Loss Intervention in a Mental Health Clinic

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Introduction: Obesity occurs in the mental health population twice as often as in the general population. Because of this issue, addressing weight in a mental health setting can be beneficial not only for weight loss, but also to improve mood. There are many studies regarding behavioral adaptations for weight loss A review of the literature indicates that there is a limited number of studies specific to weight-loss interventions within the psychiatric population. Methods: Integration of a short-term (six-week) educational intervention, in the form of written suggestions of lifestyle behaviors used for weight loss, in addition to verbal counselling. Understanding that these changes could be beneficial for the mental health population served in an outpatient clinic. Results: The result of this project shows that by providing education about healthy lifestyle changes, mental health patients can lose between 0.75 to 4% of their weight, with a modest improvement of their depressive symptoms. Discussion: Weight gain is a significant side effect for numerous psychiatric medications. Simple, brief, clinician-delivered behavioral interventions can significantly reduce weight while at the same time improving depressive symptoms. Clinicians should proactively engage their clients to participate in such interventions.

Mental health, Obesity, Physical activity, Behavioral interventions