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Nutrition and Mental Health

Subject code MH902
Lecturer Lara Ryan
Delivery mode Online, self-directed
Duration Ten weeks
Next start date Visit timetable

Subject Overview

In this subject students will examine the influential role of nutrition in living with mental health conditions and more specifically, disorders of eating and feeding as mental health conditions. Students will benefit from developing an enhanced understanding of macro and micronutrients, the fundamentals of brain physiology, the nervous system, psychology, behaviour and socialisation of food and approaches to treatment management, and recovery. Increasing evidence has emerged suggesting a link between dietary habits and mental health treatment. Students will discuss the many factors that impact on healthy food choices for people experiencing mental health conditions and will understand how foods can be utilised to counter the negative impacts of treatment and enhance mental health and wellbeing.

Currently, the relationship between nutrition and mental health conditions is poorly understood, not only by people experiencing the effects of treatment and poor nutrition, but also their families, friends, and carers. Additionally, health professionals and health services find the related metabolic alterations to be a challenging area of practice which can invoke considerable suffering from affected individuals. An empathetic and compassionate approach to treatment is highly beneficient and is an important outcome from studying from subject. 

 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse the complexity of the synergistic relationship between mental health and neurological conditions and nutrition.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental mechanics of human brain physiology and the nervous system in the context of mental health conditions and nutrition.
  3. Explain and advocate for the significance of nutrition within the prevention and management of mental health conditions.
  4. Critically analyse evidence to develop educational resources to guide care of nutrition needs for specific mental health conditions.
  5. Illustrate the application of empathy and compassion in education on nutrition for those experiencing mental health conditions and disorders of eating and feeding. 

 

Assessments

  • Assessment 1: Quizzes (20%, due weeks 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Assessment 2: Open book exam (30%, due week 7)
  • Assessment 3: Nutritional factsheet and written reflection (50%, due week 10)

 

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