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InShape InShape

For persons with a persistent, severe mental illness, staying physically healthy and fit is a special challenge – and yet regular exercise and proper diet can be key elements in recovering from a major mental or emotional illness.  InSHAPE is MFS’s special program that brings the benefits of exercise and a healthful way of living to individuals facing these concerns.

InSHAPE pairs a person with a severe mental illness, including depression, with a personal health mentor who is a certified personal fitness trainer.

Together, the mentor and participant tailor a unique personal health plan that the participant carries out with the mentor’s support.  A participant’s plan may include walking, lifting weights, swimming, tai chi, dance, yoga, playing sports, or engaging in a variety of other physical activities at sharply reduced fees at our local YMCA, area dance studios, and other facilities.  Each participant maintains an activity log, recording targeted risk factors and the activities completed.  Health mentors guide, coach, and help to motivate participants as they set specific personal health and fitness goals, track progress, develop personal nutrition plans, and learn basic cooking, food shopping, and menu-planning skills.

Health mentors also help participants find smoking cessation programs, form relationships with primary care and other medical professionals for regular and preventive care, and gain access to other services that an individual may need.

InSHAPE participants meet at regularly scheduled celebrations to share their achievements, swap tips and success stories, and support each other in their efforts to make health improvements.

InSHAPE’s ability to improve the physical and mental health of persons with a mental illness has been studied by the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, the National Institute for Mental Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The program is being adopted by mental health agencies across New England as well as in Michigan, Texas, and other states.

To join InSHAPE, or for more information about the program, call 603-352-5490.

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    Featured Events

    Men Who Cook Jaffrey 2014

    May 18th, 2014
    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

    Client Success Story

    Kids InShape Learn Teamwork at Camp Takodah

    This past spring vacation, the Kids InShape program took a group of 12 participants between the ages of 10-16 to Camp Takodah to work on many skills such as team and relationship building, trust, listening and communication, increasing self-esteem, self-regulation and self-control, to name a few.

    Ruth Recovered Her Life Through In SHAPE

    I was suffering from depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia. Starting the In SHAPE program wasn’t easy for me, having to meet people at a certain time, go to a gym where there were a lot of other people, and discuss myself with a mentor. But my first mentor was a perfect match for me.

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