For Brisbane mum of three boys, Nikole Horan, her brush with mental illness was a life-changer.
Broken and bewildered, Nikole admitted herself into Brisbane’s Belmont Private Hospital two years ago.
Her main respite from the crushing reality of her situation was to exercise, starting with daily runs around the hospital grounds.
And that’s where her salvation and the salvation of hundreds of other mental illness sufferers was born in the form of the Get Real Conscious Impact exercise health program which Nikole operates with co-founder and friend Kris Polkinghorne, who has experience as a mental illness carer.
“Get Real’s aim is to deliver its Exercise Health Education Program (Get Real Conscious Impact) to private hospital mental health patients Australia-wide with the intent to educate them on the benefits of exercise in conjunction with a medicated treatment plan,”said Nikole.
“The program is designed to enable graduates of the program to stay physically active outside of their hospital stay, without the need for a gym or trainer.”
She said Get Real implemented its first tailored Exercise Health Education Program at Belmont Private Hospital in June, 2017.
“This is the case study leading to a national roll out to all Healthe Care hospitals across the country which will include the creation of remote satellite clinics for our important remote communities,” said Nikole.
“The importance of the program isn’t only to educate the benefits of exercise with mental health and medicated diagnoses but also the strategic support plan post hospitalisation.”
Nikole and Kris, who took a break from work to get the Get Real program up and running, are now in the final stages of registration as a bonefide charity and recruit volunteers to continue “to the next level”.
“Kris and I have literally self-funded this from the start and have exhausted our personal fund,” said Nikole.
“We have now returned to full-time work again while running Get Real Conscious Impact on our own.
Aside from this we need to extend our programs to reach the community in a much wider way other than restricting it to hospital inpatients and this can be done with alternate programs for specific areas like Foster care and education system and satellite opportunities through remote and rural Australia.