Staying fit for mental health

14 June 2017

For the past eight years, people with mental health disabilities have been getting a boost up thanks to the ‘Thriving, Not Surviving’ mental health program available at C-Life Health Club.

Run in conjunction with One Door (formerly Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW), Canterbury and Croydon Community Mental Health Centre, and supported with yearly $15,000 donations from Canterbury League Club, the program has been slowly changing the lives of its participants living with severe and persistent mental illness with access to sessions run by a Pilates instructor and accredited exercise physiologist (AEP).

People with mental illnesses have a range of co-occurring health problems that can be minimised or even prevented with regular exercise. ‘Thriving, not Surviving’, which runs 3 times a week at C-Life, attracts 25-35 people and participants are required to attend at least 2-3 sessions in one week to gain benefits for their health.

“There is a strong link between regular exercise and good mental health because exercise can boost mood, concentration, and alertness in addition to enhancing physical wellbeing. The flow-on effect of being more self-confident then filters onto the rest of the participants’ lives such as being able to find and keep employment, better family relationships and making friends, all of which ultimately leads to participants becoming more stable in their lives,” said Arthur Siambis, General Manager of C-Life Health Club.

“This program is vital to the Canterbury-Bankstown area because there is currently no other similar organisation that offers this service. This program has not only enabled participants to feel comfortable in attending the gym, but also has provided them with the connections to help break down social isolation through contact with other participants and C-Life staff,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.