‘Dancing out of depression’ - how Syrian refugees are using exercise to improve mental health

A growing body of research is drawing a link between mental and physical health – and the connection is much stronger than you might realise.

Simon Rosenbaum, a senior research fellow in school psychiatry at UNSW, had been researching the role of exercise in mental health treatment for years when he teamed up with a colleague, Ruth Wells.

Wells is a PhD candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Sydney and a research fellow at the school of psychiatry at UNSW, and her research expertise focuses on the mental health of refugees.

Late last year, the pair flew to Gaziantep in southern Turkey, where about one in four people are Syrian refugees. They wanted to explore what role exercise might play in improving the mental health of Syrian refugees.

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