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Being an advocate for both mental health and living a healthy lifestyle, what are my boundaries as a future practitioner when encouraging healthy eating and other healthy alternatives?

#healthy-lifestyle
#mental-health
#advocate
#mental-health-care
#mental-health-nursing

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Jorge’s Answer

I would say first you must know the clientele that you are working with. Try not to evoke your own beliefs and style that work for you unless you are dealing with someone within your age and ability. You have to tailor a plan and treatment for the individual which means no 2 will look the same.

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Debbie Yoro’s Answer

About boundaries… a good place to start is to keep in mind the goals of the client or patient. The client can be presented with options for change but will benefit from the changes that make sense to them and are in alignment with their goals. Therefore, coming from a place of curiosity and openness is helpful for good boundaries.

Learning to do motivational interviewing is also a helpful skill. It’s a style of talking with someone that doesn’t impose your own beliefs/ideas or thoughts without their permission. It helps clients know why they are wanting to change.

There are so many ways to have a healthy lifestyle. It relates to culture, environment, finances, proximity, and vulnerabilities. Being flexible to this is also helpful to maintaining boundaries.

While you are an advocate for mental health and healthy lifestyles, you can also help your client advocate for themself when they are ready to want to make changes.

Debbie Yoro recommends the following next steps:

Learn about motivation interviewing
Learn about HAES and diet culture
Talk to a behavioral health clinician at a medical office
Learn health psychology
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Corinne’s Answer

I often encourage my clients to focus on the choices in their lifestyle as a way of improving their mood. Research in our profession supports this. You won’t be in conflict if are citing evidence based information. This will be true for all facets of your career.

Corinne recommends the following next steps:

Stay current on research in your field, give clients evidence for your recommendations. Live your life in healthy ways so they can see a healthy, happy role model. Mostly importantly, show empathy for how difficult it can be to make the difficult choices of eating well and living healthy in a world that supports fast food and quick fixes.
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