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Blog - February 2024

Royal Society of Public Health

I have just had the renewal of my membership of the Royal Society Public Health, in which ‘I agree to abide by the code of conduct and have submitted proof of academic achievements and have accordingly been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health’ FRSPH. This is the highest membership grade destined to recognise those who have been working in public health for over 5 years

The membership entitles me to enjoy all of the benefits of the Society which include online access to peer reviewed journals and the journal Perspectives in Public Health, as well as the opportunity to network at conferences, webinars, special interest groups and courses, and free membership events.

Exercise is good for you

New research from Noetel et al (2024), who conducted a systematic review and network meta- analysis of over 200 clinical trials, has suggested that exercise is an effective treatment for depression, citing walking, jogging or yoga as more effective than other exercises, particularly when the exercise is intense. It was found that exercise was equally effective for those with or without comorbidities and with different baseline levels of depression. One interesting finding was that the effect of aerobic exercise appeared to be more efficacious than that of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) though it has been advocated that this should be interpreted with caution. The study suggested that exercises could be considered alongside psychotherapy and antidepressants. Exercise and physical activity is current recommended in the NICE Guidelines

Noetel et al (2024) Effect of exercise for depression: systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials BMJ 2024;384:e075847

Green spaces are good for mental health

It has been know for a while that local green spaces are associate with improving mental health. Not only do parks and fields provide convenient areas to exercise, walk with the infant in the pram , but walking provides the opportunity to meet with other people.

This can improve social interaction and reduce loneliness and stress. Generally it results in significant reductions in depression, anxiety and stress, which enhancing positive mental health outcomes. It has been argued that there should be ‘green’ social prescriptions with increased accessibility and uptake

· Wood C, Wicks C, Barton J. Green (2022) spaces for mental disorders. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2023 Jan 1;36(1):41-46. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000830. Epub 2022 Oct 3. PMID: 36194137

Spring is springing into life

The high winds and rain brought devastation to the woods, but despite it all a daffodil managed to survive and flourish. It reminds me that no matter what life throws at you there is always the chance to thrive. Sometimes depression can feel like that, with everything chucked at you, and over which you feel you have no control, but slowly things and feelings find a way to break through the gloom.

Nature teaches us that even if you feel you are broken, then a change of environment or scenary can make a big difference.

Fallen daffodils picked and placed in a vase survive and revive!

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