The protocol will allow to identify the most suitable sport for psychiatric patients with different diagnoses and backgrounds in order to improve their psychophysical well-being. SPHERE is a two-years project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, aimed at fostering physical activity in the psychiatric rehabilitation programs through the definition and sharing of a sport scientific protocol improved by psychiatrists and academic researchers.
The project is targeted at all people with mental health problems – such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. – in order to enhance their quality of life, health and well-being, and protect their rights, dignity and inclusion through the creation of therapeutic programs able to combine physical activity and sport together with psychiatric rehabilitation. SPHERE consists of six Work Packages (WP), often interrelated, that will involve all partners with different degrees according to their expertise.
The project includes partners related to sport, health and education in order to foster the collaboration between different sectors through specific programs and a structured organisation. Each partner has a specific expertise related to the project topics and is highly active in transnational collaborations. Some partners will implement a pilot action in their own territories by involving mental health centres, psychiatric patients, psychiatrists, multisport facilities and coaches.
All partners will provide support in the project management by appointing a member in the steering committee, will research the best practices about sport and mental health at European level, will appoint a member in the scientific committee, will help in the definition of the training guidelines and subsequent protocol, and will disseminate all project results through their networks, websites and social media.
SPHERE promotes physical activity for psychiatric patients and tackles their social exclusion – often related to the social stigma still existing around mental illness.