Holistic Health Radio Episode 11: Breaking the Stigma of Medication & Mental Health, Plus the Importance of Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. John Sykes

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Episode Summary
Today I’m joined by Dr. John Sykes, a British GP living and working in Australia who practices lifestyle medicine and is a big advocate for physical activity because of its many known benefits for improving health and preventing disease. This is especially the case when it comes to mental health. In today’s podcast John and I discuss

  • How to talk to your doctor if you’re struggling with your mental health
  • How to break the stigma around medications for depression and anxiety
  • Why medication can be a useful part of treatment but isn’t actually a cure al
  • Other lifestyle factors and treatments that support mental health

Note: if you feel you need to talk to someone about your mental health then please do seek professional help. GPs are able to help with a lot of mental health issues and have the support of many other services which could be helpful depending on your situation.

So if you are in any doubt then please do book in with your GP for a consult to chat about how you are. Please never feel you shouldn’t speak to someone about things you are finding hard and want to talk about. There are also some online resources and helpful support lines linked below.

Speaker Background – Dr. John Sykes

Dr John Sykes is a General Practitioner who completed his training in the UK with the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2017 and is now working in Sydney Australia.

Dr Sykes has a keen interest in using positive lifestyle changes to reduce, prevent or reverse disease to help his patients lead healthier happier lives.

John is a Trustee and Director of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine. John has organised and delivered several national conferences in the UK on Lifestyle Medicine including the inaugural “RCGP Lifestyle Medicine” Conference which won a local award with the RCGPDuring his training he was awarded the Severn Deanery Central Leadership Scholarship and worked in Public Health in which he arranged and delivered several teaching sessions for GPs and medical students on the subject of physical activity and lifestyle medicine.

Dr Sykes has worked in several areas of need which has shaped his interest in chronic disease management for conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking, heart disease as well as mental health conditions. Dr Sykes is passionate about General Practice and Lifestyle Medicine as he strongly believes in the power it has to care for patients and better their health.

You can follow John on social media @healthandfitnessdoctor

Links & Resources
Online CBT course
Mentalhealthonline.org.au (Free) – self referral, optional access to mental health online therapists
Mindspot.org.au (Free) – registered healthcare professionals can directly refer to this and monitor patients progress. Guidance through programs by Mindspot therapist via email or telephone. Programs for anxiety, depression, PTSD and OCD
Moodgym (Free) – anxiety and depression; self directed CBT
Thiswayup.org.au ($59) – specific programs for a range of different mental health issues including panic disorder, social phobia, SAD
Mental Health Support
Beyond Blue – support, advice and they can link people up with therapy and extra support if needed. They also have a crisis line in case someone is feeling really low.

Helpful Phone Apps
Apps for CBT

Apps for relaxation

Sarah King

Sarah King

Hi future friends, I’m Sarah King, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and health coach.

Science, not trends is the foundation of my approach. By nourishing the body and mind with scientific facts we can build foundations for a life of realness, not just wellness.