The area of health psychology aims to reduce harmful health behaviours and improve healthy behaviours. For example, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. The reduction of these behaviours is associated with the aim of reducing heart disease, diabetes type II, breast and colon cancer, obesity and more. Health and lifestyle psychologists specialise in intervening and assisting with an individual’s health and wellbeing. Health psychologists also help in creating education and behaviour programs to assist people in recovering from or to assist with their current chronic illness, injury, trauma or disability.

Psychological treatments can also assist in reducing problems that can contribute to and accompany illness and/or injury, e.g. chronic pain, poor sleep, disordered eating, anxiety, addiction, depression and emotional reactions such as grief and anger.

Health Psychologists can also assist with coping of diagnosis and medical treatment of health problems, as well as assisting individuals in coping with terminal illness, as well as managing the impact of bereavement, loss and death and dying.

If you have a family member that is going through these difficulties, it is also important for you to seek support if you find that you are struggling. You may start to experience an inability to support the individual or others in your family, you may think about it constantly and feel down or stressed about it, or it may begin to affect other areas of your life such as your relationships or concentration at work. If having a family member with these difficulties is beginning to take a toll on your own wellbeing or ability to function, it may be beneficial for you to seek help as well.

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