We’ve heard the statistics. Individuals living with mental health conditions are at greater risk for physical health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Physical inactivity is a prevalent issue among the general population and is equally concerning for individuals with mental health conditions.There are physical activity guidelines, intervention ideas, and even reduced fees for gym memberships. But overwhelmingly, a national shift towards physical activity in mental health has not occurred. That’s not to say great things aren’t happening!

We want to hear from you!
We want to hear from consumers about strategies they use to increase physical activity. What works, what doesn’t work? What barriers to you experience?

We want to hear from providers about how they promote physical activity and exercise within your organization. How do you support consumers to increase their own physical activity. Are their barriers you face or observe as a provider that prevent consumer engagement in physical activity?

How can we help?!
As an individual with lived experience, what tools or resources would help you increase engagement in physical activity? Are there resources that would help you advocate for supports to increase physical activity?

As a provider, are there trainings, protocols, or other informational resources that would help you support the physical activity goals of individuals with living with mental health conditions?

Join us for this National Conversation! Let’s change the momentum and move physical activity forward!
With your input, we will begin to develop additional resources and training guides to better support individuals with mental health conditions to increase physical activity. Your input matters!

To help facilitate discussions in the training environment, PaPSC asked Temple to produce a brief video in which peer specialists currently involved in the delivery of crisis intervention services could talk about their jobs – specific responsibilities, the satisfactions and challenges associated with this crisis response work, their relationships with non-peer colleagues, and the ways in which they make use of their personal stories to help individuals better manage their emotional crises and then move forward with their lives. This video was a joint project of the Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition (PaPSC), the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion and the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services supported under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2015 Transformation Technology Initiative with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

This important video is now available here. For information on the three-day training program itself – and the related trainee and trainer manuals developed by PaPSC –  please visit PaPSC’s website at or contact the PaPSC directly at




The essence of leisure is not to assure that we may function smoothly, but rather to assure that we, embedded in our social function, are enabled to remain fully human. – Josef Pieper

Too often, the common definition of leisure is spare time, or worse, wasted time. Time when we can engage in recreation to escape from the day-to-day reality. Often, we default to an easy activity that gives us enough reprieve to engage in the next day. We watch TV, we take a nap, we give little thought to how we use this time. While we can all use occasional down-time to relax, a leisure lifestyle based on sedentary, passive activities can lead to poor health, isolation, and loneliness. Conversely, active leisure can benefit wellness, social connections, and quality of life.

The choices we make regarding how we chose to spend our time also send a message of what we like, what we strive for, and the people we want to surround us. In this way, associations with healthy and personally meaningful activities help us shape positive identities and to assume positive roles in our communities.

Recreation and leisure are important dimensions of community participation that enrich the lives of all people. Mental health services should support consumers to engage independently in the community in diverse activities, including recreation and leisure. Providers should encourage those with whom they work to truly understand their leisure interests and needs. We should strive to help each other to take ownership of one’s recreation and ultimately ownership of one’s identity.

Redefined: Owning Recreation is a video short where we invited six individuals who have mental illness diagnoses to tell their stories of how the diagnosis impacted their life and the role community-based recreation plays in who they are today. On May 26th, we hosted a public viewing of the short and invited the video participants to participate in a panel. This panel discussion will be available soon.

This work adds to our existing work that focuses on the power and importance of leisure and recreation as a meaningful activity and important area of community participation. For more information about this topic, please visit us at

Click here for a transcription of the video.




We sat down with Eugene Brusilovskiy to talk about a concept known as Environments in research. In part 1 Eugene will introduce himself and then talk about what Environments are. In part 2, Eugene discusses his work looking at the built and social environment of individuals with psychiatric disabilities.

We sat down with Gretchen Snethen, assistant director for the Temple University Collaborative and spoke about her work with leisure and recreation as well as independent participation.

We sat down with Brandon Snead and Natasha Roseboom to talk about their roles as recreational therapists at the Temple University Collaborative.

In this video Dr. Julie Tennille discusses sexuality and intimacy as it applies to persons with mental health conditions. We’re partnering with Dr. Tennille to develop a toolkit to help providers discuss sex and intimacy.

In this video, Paige O’Sullivan talks with us about her role as the interventionist for the Supported Education study.