Wayne & Jon

What is InSHAPE®?

InSHAPE is a comprehensive health program that addresses the complex issues involved in increasing the lifespan and improving the health and quality of life of people experiencing serious mental illness.

What makes it effective?

InSHAPE activates the principles of the Recovery Philosophy, including a person-centered approach based upon self-determined, self-directed, and self-managed care. Social Inclusion and community engagement strategies are also meaningfully integrated into the following essential elements:

  • Wellness focus: The program focus is on wellness, rather than illness
  • Participant-driven: Participants take responsibility for setting their own goals and directing the desired outcomes, which helps them regain personal dignity and self-respect.
  • Multidisciplinary: Physical fitness, healthy eating, smoking cessation, and access to quality health care are integrated into the model.
  • Individualized: Each participant has an individualized InSHAPE plan and a personal health mentor who provides consistent individual support.
  • Health Mentors: Each participant works with a Personal Health Mentor, who is a certified personal trainer with expertise in fitness and health promotion
  • Community involvement: Active and expanding collaboration and engagement with community resources is an essential cornerstone of InSHAPE.

What is a Health Mentor?

A Health Mentor is a trained fitness instructor with a certification as a personal trainer. The Health Mentor is the central health and fitness specialist assisting InSHAPE participants to identify and to achieve their health and fitness goals.

Do Health Mentors need to have a background in mental illness?

Not initially, but they should receive some training in the basics of understanding mental illness and knowing when to seek the help of the members of each InSHAPE participant’s mental health team.

How many participants can full-time Health Mentors have in their client workload?

A full-time Health Mentor’s participant workload should be 20-25 individuals, though this may vary. 

Can the InSHAPE program be phased in?

Yes. For example, it can be phased in between 2-3 years, depending upon the specific circumstances of a particular agency. 

What is the most commonly identified goal by the participants?

The majority of participants state that they join InSHAPE because they want to lose weight.

Why are community partners so important?

In SHAPE is a whole health initiative, which recognizes the positive health impact of social inclusion and community engagement upon individuals.  Therefore, it is very important that participants carry out their health plan elements in community settings, such as in community fitness facilities. This promotes social integration and can reduce social isolation. Having community partners also involves other community organizations in accepting responsibility for persons experiencing mental illness.