App aimed to improve mental health

19 August 2019

NICM Health Research Institute (NICM) is one of several collaborators, along with the University of Melbourne and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, partnering with the Chinese University of Hong Kong to use lifestyle modifications to improve mental health.

NICM Deputy Director, Professor Jerome Sarris will contribute to the pilot study which will investigate whether lifestyle interventions, managed by way of a smartphone application, can help to improve depression in the Cantonese adult population in Hong Kong.

Professor Sarris say the interventions will focus on elements such as enhancing physical activity, dietary quality, relaxation/mindfulness techniques, providing psychoeducation to assist in improving sleep quality and basic psychological techniques to enhance motivation and goal setting.

“Lifestyle medicine has for centuries been recognised as a way to improve physical health, however the field of research pertaining to the relationship between lifestyle medicine and mental health is still in its infancy,” said Professor Sarris.

“While there is increasing evidence on the benefits of individual lifestyle factors, such as exercise or sleep on depression, there is still limited research on the effect of a combination of multiple lifestyle adjustments on mental health.”