October 2, 2019

Exercise has consistently shown to be a positive factor for mental health, mood regulation, motivation and in Vincent’s case, it has also opened doors for engagement and participation with others in his group home.

Vincent is a 26-year-old who has been living in shared accommodation since the age of 21. He has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, and, with support, is managing his mental health symptoms.

Vincent is receiving support from Everyday Independence occupational therapist, Krystle, and physiotherapist Ryan from our South Western Sydney team. Krystle and Ryan are supporting Vincent to increase his drive and motivation so that he can engage in activities and have meaningful interactions in his community. Vincent is also working with Krystle to establish a weekly routine, and re-explore his interest in art.

When Krystle, and Ryan first met with Vincent, he responded with few words, and showed very little desire to engage in any physical activity, despite having a goal to save for a car, and working as a waste collector.

Using person-centred tools, Krystle and Ryan we were able to identify that Vincent would potentially enjoy boxing, so they suggested the idea to him. After staff at the group home reported that Vincent was inquiring about the boxing bag, it was identified that this was a significant interest area for Vincent.

Through a touch of Everyday Magic, Everyday Independence’s social initiative, Vincent was provided with boxing equipment that he could use at his group home to engage in meaningful physical activity.

Even though Vincent was reluctant at first to set up the bag, he soon warmed up and assisted with screwing the nuts and bolts and filling the stand with water.

“This is amazing! I can’t wait to hit it. I’m going to hit it straight away,” he said.

The excitement and enthusiasm were clearly visible to the support workers at Vincent’s home. Vincent expressed his thanks and gratitude, inviting Ryan and the staff to join in with him.

“Come do some boxing with me! I am going to get so fit from this”.

Vincent proceeded to box for 15-20 mins with rests in- between. This is a significant achievement for Vincent as his most significant physical engagement in the last year had been passing and kicking a football with support staff and Ryan for 15 minutes.

Vincent now consistently engages in boxing as an activity during the week and has maintained his enthusiasm during his physiotherapy visits.

His engagement with boxing has also opened him up to engaging in more activities, such as his graffiti art and looking after some garden plants.

We are excited to see what other doors open for Vincent as he continues to engage in meaningful physical activity.