A gift of fitness equipment benefits Mental Health at St. Paul’s

March 26th, 2014

A donation of fitness equipment to the Mental Health Program at St. Paul’s has made it possible for patients there to gain better physical and mental health while receiving treatment.

“The new exercise equipment greatly benefits patient care by allowing them to use physical exercise to boost their mood,” says Dr. Chris Murray, a psychiatrist with St. Paul’s Mental Health Program. “Until now, patients did not have access to modern equipment that would allow them to stay fit and carry out a diet and exercise plan. The new equipment fulfills this important need.”

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver donated seven AMTs (steppers/ellipticals) and one recumbent bike from the Robert Lee YMCA on Burrard Street. The three years old state of the art equipment will benefit patients receiving treatment through St. Paul’s Mental Health Program.

“The YMCA and St. Paul’s have been leaders and cornerstones of the downtown community for a very long time,” says Simon Adams, VP membership of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. “This donation is a very simple way for us to support the excellent work being done at St. Paul’s to help people living with mental health issues in our community.”

As Vancouver’s downtown hospital, St. Paul’s has many programs designed to improve the lives of a diverse group of people living with mental health issues, ranging from white collar executives to blue collar workers to the SAMI (Severe Addiction and/or Mental Illness) population.

“Most of our patients have severe addiction and mental health issues, and few have a gym membership or exercise as part of their daily routine,” says St. Paul’s psychiatrist Dr. Katherine Wrixon. “Instilling exercise as part of their recovery process emphasizes that recovery is not just about their diagnosis and the proper medications, but about achieving a healthy lifestyle, learning other outlets for stress and becoming empowered to move forward on a healthy path.”

To learn more about supporting mental health care, research and teaching at St. Paul’s, please click here: