Rationale of the Project

Overweight is becoming a significant problem of the modern European society – e.g. the worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980 (WHO Fact Sheet No 311) and since it is preventable, WHO also published the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health (http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/en/index.html). According to estimates of the WHO by 2020 depression will reach 2nd place of the ranking of DALYs (Disability-adjusted life year) for all ages and both sexes. Today, depression os already the 2nd cause of DALYs in the age category 15-44 for both sexes. According to press releases of Mental Health Europe the global recession has caused a three-times-higher yearly usage rate of antidepressants. Subsequently we can conclude that the situation in the European Union in the field of mental health issues is alarming. If we add to the above mentioned facts that people with disabilities due to mental health illness are even more at risk for obesity because of the nature of their illnesses and the side-effects of the medication they are taking, it is the only rational consequence that care workers working with people with mental health disorders get additional educations and acquaint new skills which will enable them to act as a kind of a personal trainer to people with mental health disorders. This educational programme will include specialised knowledge about: the most common mental health disorders (their background, clinical appearance), healthy lifestyle and healthy nutrition, different types of workout (individual, group, fitness, pilates etc.), physiotherapy and skills a personal trainer must have (e.g. motivation). LeoShape therefore addresses: the marginalised group of people with mental health disorders, lifelong learning and increased competitiveness in the labour market. In this new approach we are combining the concept of a personal trainer with the work of a care worker in the field of mental health.