Student mental health, stress and medically unexplained symptoms: The BodyMind Approach® for cultivating mental health and wellbeing in higher education institutes
Students in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK are increasingly suffering excessive stress and/or mental health difficulties. Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) are chronic bodily symptoms for which tests and scans return without a diagnosis. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, IBS etc. mostly affect young people, non-native speakers and women. All these populations are found in high numbers in HEIs. It is acknowledged chronic stress can lead to, or exacerbate, mental health difficulties and/or MUS. Sometimes MUS appear before any mental health issue although frequently MUS is associated with anxiety and depression.
The BodyMind Approach® (TBMA), an innovative evidence-based, research-informed intervention tested in the National Health Service derived from the arts therapies can support such students to learn to self-manage. This psychoeducation intervention can cultivate improved student mental health and wellbeing to transform lives. Attention needs to be given to students suffering with MUS to learn to self-manage such bodily symptoms (healthy body, healthy mind) both as a preventive strategy and to be supportive of emotional and physical wellbeing. TBMA is an enactive, embodied intervention framed as a learning tool, designed specifically for people with MUS. It is based on the arts therapies, adult experiential and transformational learning for the integration of mental and physical health.
What do you think? All feedback appreciated.
You can learn more about TBMA by emailing H.L.Payne@herts.ac.uk
Payne, H., & Brooks, S. (2018) The BodyMind Approach® for patients with medically unexplained symptoms to learn to self-manage. Frontiers in Psychology, section Clinical and Health Psychology.
Open Access - https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02222/full
Essentials of Dance Movement Psychotherapy: International Perspectives on Theory, Research, and Practice by Helen Payne
TED Talk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BagKj5Zsc9k
BBC film ‘When mental health gets physical’
The Routledge International Handbook of Embodied Perspectives in Psychotherapy
Professor Helen Payne, University of Hertfordshire, UK
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