About Us

The SHAPE website, created by the Worcestershire Early Intervention Service and the University of Worcester, aims to provide service users, carers and health care providers accessible information to support the physical health needs of individuals within mental health services.

Overseen by a team of clinical and academic experts on mental health, lifestyle behaviours and physical activity, SHAPE content provides an evidence based approach to promote healthy lifestyle behaviours for individuals with serious mental illness.

SHAPE is a great resource for:

  • Specific physical health considerations for individuals with mental illness.

  • Information on how to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease

  • Resources tailored to specific topics, providing:

    • Service users practical advice and strategies on managing individual physical health issues.

    • Carers with support and useful information to promote healthy lifestyles within the family and provides tips and advice including answers to frequently asked questions.

    • Health care providers course materials and training to adapt and deliver the SHAPE programme in your specific service area.


Patients prescribed antipsychotic medication typically present with weight gain and negative changes to blood lipids (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides) early in their treatment which has been shown to increase the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders (e.g. Type 2 Diabetes). Research suggests that the potential causes of death and illness which contribute to this reduction in life expectancy may be treated, prevented, or diminished through timely access to targeted health promotion efforts, physical health monitoring, and preventative interventions.

In response to national and local health targets and the increased urgency to provide improved physical health outcomes for individuals with serious mental illness, the NHS Worcestershire Health and Care Trust in collaboration with the University of Worcester, designed and delivered an exercise and lifestyle intervention aimed at targeting the physical health and well-being of its patients. As a result, the Supporting Health and Promoting Exercise (SHAPE) programme was specifically designed to reduce the risk of chronic disease by preventing weight gain and providing support to make positive lifestyle behaviour changes.

What We Do

This SHAPE website provides healthy lifestyle advice and recommendations to service users and carers. The service user and carer webpages provide information on healthy eating, exercise and physical activity, managing stress and anxiety, and tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Although SHAPE was originally targeted to young people with psychosis, the lifestyle recommendations made on this website are appropriate for anyone wishing to improve their physical health.

The SHAPE programme is designed to be delivered by health care providers as a physical health assessment, monitoring and intervention programme for young people experiencing serious mental illness. The 12 week SHAPE programme is an exercise and lifestyle intervention to improve physical health and wellbeing, the programme includes:

  • Physical health baseline assessment and monitoring of individual treatment plans on completion of 12 week programme and at 12 months follow up

  • A group health educational programme providing advice and support on:

    • Healthy eating including personalised nutritional advice.

    • Stress management, mindfulness and relaxation training.

    • Motivational and goal setting sessions weekly to review goals and maintain focus.

    • Smoking cessation advice.

    • Substance misuse (harm minimisation)

    • Dental and sexual health care

  • Group exercise cardiovascular session comprising 45 minutes of either group exercise or use of the exercise suite gym equipment, tailored to participants’ level of ability and fitness.

The SHAPE programme was designed with the aim to improve collaboration with primary care practitioners and other specialists to reduce physical health risks and facilitate referral as required. The SHAPE programme design and content is flexible and may be modified according to the resources available at your facility.