There are thousands of health clubs and gyms to help get physically fit. Yet, where do you go to improve your mental and emotional fitness?
During the pandemic an increasing number of people sought mental health treatment through psychologists and therapists. Another option that emerged over the last year are mental health gyms or mental fitness studios to get your mind and emotional health in shape.
Demand for mental health services is greater than ever before, with more than three-quarters of Americans agreeing that mental health is just as important as physical health, according to research by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a significant surge in mental health therapy with increased cases of anxiety and depression. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that nearly one-third of adults said sometimes they are so stressed about the coronavirus pandemic that they struggle to make basic
Mental Health Gyms: What Are They?
This new way of treating emotional well-being provides a different way for people to build and maintain mental wellness and tackle issues like stress and burnout. The programs are designed to strengthen important skills like courage, gratitude and confidence, but not replace intensive treatment that only mental health care professionals are trained to do.
“Many people want ongoing help with their emotional well-being and not just when they are feeling down and depressed,” says psychologist Dr. Ronald Breazele, founder and director of Psychological and Educational Services, an independent practice of psychologists and mental health professionals in northern New England.
He explains that these new programs are reminiscent of the community mental health centers that started in the 70s that provided education and basic skills on emotional well-being. “Those community programs taught life skills to improve communication, manage stress and build mental resiliency, back when there were too many people to be seen individually by mental health professionals,” says Breazele.