NYAPRS Note: Below are two easy-to-use guides for peer specialists, health practitioners, and other social services workers to support people in achieving physical activity and wellness. Both guides incorporate helpful facts and tips, as well as resources and culturally appropriate motivations for community members.

Guide to Supporting Physical Activity

Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion; 6/17/2015

This guide, developed by Whitney Strange as her master’s project in the Master of Science in Recreation Therapy program in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Gretchen Snethen at Temple University, was created as a means to enhance peer support specialists’ ability to encourage consumers with mental illness to increase physical activity levels. The lessons within this guide provide an overview of physical activity as well as the risks associated with inactivity, and also focus on the understanding of consumers’ needs.

Each lesson focuses on understanding consumers’ needs and techniques that peer support specialists can use to encourage consumers to use personal strengths and interests for the purpose of being more physically active. Broken down into 5 lessons: Sedentary Behaviors & Barriers to Physical Activity, Benefits of Physical Activity, Evaluating Current Physical Activity Levels and Motivation for Change, Goal Setting and Identifying Action Steps and Self-Monitoring. Each lesson provides a definition of key terms, an overview of the topic, tips and strategies for peers to support consumers, a case study with reflection questions, and next steps for peers to integrate the topics and skills into their work with consumers.

In the spring of 2015, this training was tested and modified based on the feedback from Peer Support Specialists at the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

You can access this guide here

Recommendations for Physical Activity: A Supportive Intervention Guide

Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion; 6/17/2015

This guide provides a summary of some of the physical and mental health benefits associated with physical activity, as well as recommendations for participation in community-based exercise. This document explains some details of the current research for this topic and suggestions for various exercise activities that can be participated in. Throughout the document, various supportive interventions are explained and a rationale for participation in walking and exercises and suggestions for the practitioner who is interested in facilitating these types of fitness groups is given.

The guide can be accessed here.

Wellness Guides