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What Are Mental Health Gyms?

    Have you ever found yourself in a crisis and wished that you were mentally and emotionally equipped to handle it? Mental health gyms might be the answer you’re looking for.

     Mental health gyms make it easier for people to be proactive about their mental health.

    Just as people go to a gym to be physically fit, now people can go to a mental health gym to be mentally and emotionally well. Mental health gyms are relatively new. They started sprouting up about five years ago, well before the pandemic began. As it turns out, its arrival on the scene was well-timed as mental health gyms served numerous people looking for a reprieve from the constant anxiety and loneliness brought on by the pandemic.  

    A mental health gym is a facility that offers support sessions, exercises, or classes designed to help individuals improve their mental wellness. Some offer these services in a physical place, while others offer live, virtual sessions, eventually transitioning to in-person when it feels safe to do so. There are also mental health gyms that feature prerecorded material that can be accessed on-demand.

    There are several operational mental health gyms, like Coa, YourLife, and Inception. Other facilities, like Real, don’t exactly position themselves as mental health gyms, but they offer the same services (except therapy) otherwise.

    When mental health gyms were initially launched, many viewed them as competitors of one-on-one therapy. But many psychologists soon realized that both could work together to ensure optimum mental wellness. This is why some gyms, like Coa, offer both classes and therapy matchmaking.  

    Mental health gyms cater to anyone, such as those who attend one-on-one sessions but want more and those who don’t feel ready for the intimacy of therapy sessions. The majority of the classes offered by these gyms focus on teaching core skills that are needed for everyday mental health, like how to be a better friend or how to better advocate for oneself in the workplace.

    However, experts caution that these classes should not be viewed as a replacement for one-on-one therapy. If an individual is going through something, therapy is a better outlet because these sessions are highly-personalized.

    That said, mental health gyms make wellness more accessible. First, it doesn’t have the stigma that often keeps people from seeking help from a mental health professional. After all, it can be more socially acceptable to say that you’re taking a class for self-care purposes rather than seeing a doctor because you “need help.”

    Second, mental health gyms are more affordable. A single session with a psychologist can cost about $100 to $200. In comparison, people can join a class in a mental health gym for only $30.

    Mental health gyms also work well for those who might want to approach mental wellness from various angles. Gyms like YourLife offer private in-person sessions that combine motivational coaching with physical training as well as virtual group support classes.

    The bottom line  

    Mental health gyms make it easy to be proactive about your overall health. With these facilities, you don’t have to go through the arduous process of finding a therapist, checking to see if your insurance covers them, and making sure you’re a good match.

    In an increasingly digital and lonely world, mental health gyms allow you to sign up for a class on a whim and instantly be connected to a community with similar goals. In addition, these gyms are a great venue to work on improving your responses to stress and learn core coping skills, so you’re ready even before you’re in a crisis.

    What do you think of mental health gyms?