ABSTRACT

In Australia, exercise practitioners (i.e., clinical professionals specializing in exercise assessment and delivery) are increasingly recognized as core mental health team members. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, exercise practitioners, like other mental health professions, have had to adapt methods of clinical service delivery to ensure social distancing and reduce risk of community transmission. As such, telehealth interventions have rapidly replaced most face-to-face services. To date, evidence surrounding the application of telehealth exercise interventions for people living with mental illness is scarce, and currently there is no consensus or recommendations on how exercise practitioners can provide telehealth services for this population. As such, the aim of this article is to draw on existing research and expert opinion to provide practical and service-based guidance for exercise practitioners delivering telehealth services to people with mental illnesses. Specifically, we explore the potential benefits of telehealth exercise interventions, the various challenges and considerations of telehealth exercise among those with mental illness, and some practical solutions to guide exercise practitioners in delivering telehealth services.

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