The Relationship Between Gut Health and Mental Health

Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach? Or had a “gut-wrenching” encounter? Then congrats, you’ve already experienced the brain gut connection.

There have been scientific studies about it, several books published, and definitely a few fad diets claiming to improve mental health.

The thing is, a chunk of your Health and Community Services course will focus on mental health. You’ll learn how to recognise mental health issues, support strategies, recovery techniques and more.

And that’s only the general units; if you study a Certificate IV or Diploma of Mental Health, you’ll be full bottle on the factors impacting mental health in our community.

What’s the brain gut connection?

More than just a bad feeling when you eat too much chocolate, the brain gut axis actually refers to a kind of “second brain” in our stomachs. Let’s get technical for a second:

  • Your gastrointestinal tract is home to a microbiome (diverse population or microorganisms and bacteria)
  • These bacteria play an important role in gut health, plus inflammation, obesity, and digestion
  • Your second brain and your big brain talk more than you might realise

When the balance of good and bad bacteria is out of whack it can cause physical and mental health problems. If you’ve ever felt nauseous before a big presentation, or a little anxious for no obvious reason, it could be this psychosomatic response.

Basically, emotional shifts can trigger stomach problems or vice versa.

Interesting, right? But what does it have to do with youth work, mental health counselling, drug addiction or community work?

Why is it important for a Health and Community Services course in Perth?

Health and Community Services is a people-first field. You’ll be working closely with people from all walks of life, helping them to get back on their feet after a crisis or find strength in difficult times.

Understanding the close connection between brain and gut health is a powerful tool in your toolkit. With it you can:

  • Offer practical strategies to promote mental (and physical) wellbeing
  • Counsel on the impact of a poor diet
  • Use science to back up your mental health strategy
  • Approach every relationship with well-rounded knowledge
  • Provide tailored, effective mental and physical health strategies

Take the Diploma of Mental Health for example, which is just one of the Health and Community Services courses we offer online and in person around Australia. One unit of competency, Provide early intervention, health prevention and promotion programs, could certainly see you putting the brain gut connection into practice.

Explore all our Health and Community Services courses here – and trust your gut when you apply.

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