“Food for Thought”- the development of a community mental health dietetics service in Orange, NSW

The recent review of Mental Health Drug and Alcohol services in WNSWLHD has identified a gap in multidisciplinary input for community mental health consumers. These consumers are at high nutritional risk, often resulting in further physical comorbidities.

The dietetic service for Orange Mental Health consumers has been redeveloped to include

community- dwelling consumers.

This new service features a community mental health nutrition steering committee, flexible and innovative lifestyle groups delivered in a familiar community space, nutrition clinics for individuals and community nursing staff training to support consumers’ healthy lifestyle goals.

Data has been collected during the implementation phase of this new service. Between August and December 2015, 55 individual consults were conducted. Additionally, six healthy lifestyle groups based on nutritional concepts reached 27 consumers, with the average consumer attending four out of the six groups.

The evidence for role of dietetic education in consumers with mental health conditions to prevent metabolic abnormalities is growing rapidly. This service displays innovation in the method used to facilitate consumer engagement with dietetic services.


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