UConn physical therapy program integrates mental health education

The physical therapy program at the University of Connecticut's College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has integrated mental health education into its training.

The physical therapy major includes the Mental Health First Aid program, according to a Feb. 6 report from the university. The content of the nationally recognized course encompasses information on mental health conditions and  reducing stigma surrounding mental health as well as how to have a conversation with someone who is struggling with their mental health.

Physical therapists are particularly positioned to offer mental health support because they are trained in motivational interviewing to help their patients stick to specific plans and reminders, according to assistant professor-in-residence Mary Beth Osborne.

The university also offers the UConn PT CARES program, a student-oriented learning experience that offers one-on-one physical therapy for patients with anxiety and depression and currently has 30 students.

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