Spa Business issue 1 2017

Page 7

editor’s letter

The next frontier for spa Prevention lies at the heart of spa. Our ethos is to support people in developing habits that ensure they remain in the best health possible. Yet to date, mental health has been largely left out of the equation. The opportunity is there to bring it alongside and to become truly holistic

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he World Health Organisation estimates that more than 25 per cent of people around the world will suffer from some kind of mental health crisis or challenge in their lifetime, with more women than men affected. As the spa industry seeks to grow both its reach and scope, the development of services relating to mental health – from both a preventative and a curative point of view – is an opportunity both to be useful and to broaden services. The spa industry has borrowed from a wide range of disciplines on its journey so far – ancient healing traditions, the beauty market, the fitness industry, the wellness sector and many areas of specialism within allopathic, alternative and complementary medicine. This rich mix is one of the things that gives the industry its vibrancy. We are a melting pot of skills and cultures and this leaves us well placed to extend our reach into the sphere of mental health, so long as we’re mindful of the challenges and of our limitations. Prevention is the area we can move on most immediately: helping people to develop strategies and lifestyle habits that enable them to maintain good mental health is already within the remit of many spas. We must be kind, frank and straightforward in how we present these services, so people learn that their mental health is as deserving of attention as all other parts of their wellbeing. We can be part of the solution when it comes to the shame and fear which many feel when confronting these challenges, especially those who find it difficult to seek help. As we add wellness into the business mix, the opportunities to deepen this work will increase and developing mental health services for people already suffering from challenges will take things to another level. This is still within the remit of medical spas and there can be few places more able to create healing environments.

Mental health needs as much attention as other parts of our wellbeing

Helping people develop strategies and lifestyle habits that enable them to maintain good mental health is already within the remit of many spas The proviso must always be that support is given by qualified people who guarantee the safety of the customer, while guarding the professional credibility of the spa operator and meeting the terms of their insurances. The industry has begun to realise that people come through the door with all sorts of issues and just as the wonderful Wellness for Cancer initiative is making spa accessible for those battling with that challenge, so we can start to offer this same level of support for mental health.

Liz Terry, editorial director @elizterry

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