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Evidence and Feasibility of Implementing an Integrated Wellness Program

October 24, 2017 -
Evidence for the connection between physical and mental health is growing, as is interest in providing a holistic, mind-body approach to improving mental health and wellness. A needs assessment in northeast Georgia identified several regional health priorities, including mental health and substance abuse, access to care, and cardiovascular health.

The journal Health & social work published a new study by University of Georgia that aimed to (1) review evidence for integrated mind-body wellness services, (2) explore the feasibility of implementing wellness services in a small mental health agency serving northeast Georgia, and (3) conduct a brief survey assessing interest in a wellness program.

The literature search identified articles within the past 10 years with these key words: "yoga," "mental health," "wellness program," "complementary alternative medicine," "tai chi," "mindfulness," "meditation," and "nutrition." The survey was distributed to the agency's affiliates. The literature review identified strong evidence for an integrated mind-body wellness program that includes yoga, Tai Chi, mindfulness meditation, and nutrition education.

Among 73 survey respondents, 86% indicated interest in wellness services, and 85% agreed that wellness services are important to mental health and well-being. Authors suggest a model to incorporate a holistic wellness program to complement mental health services and help facilitate physical and mental health.




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