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Research Opportunity: Physical activity and youth mental health: Co-designing resources with General Practitioners

Common mental health concerns often begin in adolescence and early adulthood. It is well documented that physical activity assists individuals living with common mental health concerns by boosting mood, encouraging an overall sense of well-being, and reducing stress.

Recent findings suggest using physical activity in primary prevention and treatment across common mental health concerns was beneficial.

General practitioners (GPs) are the most common health professionals people see for mental health concerns, yet they seldom prescribe physical activity. However, including physical activity as a treatment approach for young people experiencing mental health issues, offers inclusivity, may decrease inequities, addresses several known barriers, and may reduce future physical and mental health comorbidities.

Physical activity prescription (type, dose, and frequency) for mental health is not currently a part of Australian Medical School curriculum, yet GPs report wanting more training in this.

Studies have shown, however, that even with financial benefits or CPD points as incentives, GPs participation in further education, or educational interventions, is low. Due to the low participation rates, studies recommend developing resources that are acceptable to GPs to encourage adherence to current physical activity guidelines.

This study by researchers from the Victoria University, aims to codesign physical activity for mental health resources to assist GPs in prescribing physical activity.

Those interested in participating may complete a survey in the first instance indicating an interest to participate in an interview and/or focus group.

For more information download the Participant Information Sheet.

For additional details about the study contact Jodie Sheehy (PhD Student) by email to jodie.sheehy@live.vu.edu.au

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