Factors Impacting Mental Health

Online Course: Factors Impacting Mental Health

The effect of lifestyle factors and personal experiences on mental health

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Presented by:

Andrea Sturm

Andrea is a neurological physiotherapist from Austria. She has a special interest in Ethics and Mental Health.

3-4 hours

Summarising the latest research & evidence

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It is crucial for healthcare workers to understand the effects of lifestyle factors and the adverse or positive experiences on individuals who face mild to severe mental health issues. Traumatic experiences, even if they took place in childhood, can continue to contribute to stress in adult life, with poor lifestyle options taken as a survival strategy or coping mechanism. These individuals can be at high risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease due to the side effects of medication, alcohol and smoking combined with a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise and diet are considered core elements of lifestyle modification and are essential to physical health. Another important factor is poor sleep quality as it can be a consequence of, or contributing factor to mental illness and can influence other lifestyle factors.


The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the complex and multifaceted underlying causes and contributing factors of mental health disorders and how the clinician can use their own internal and external resources to promotes an individual’s health and well-being.


This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Inside Mental Health Conditions
  2. Lifestyle Factors
  3. Childhood Experiences and Adult Inflammation
  4. How to Support the Patient with Mental Illness

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.

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