The recently retired GP and Chair of the Clinical Advisory Group for Equally Well UK explains why physical health is such a big issue for people living with severe mental illness.
For too long, inequalities in physical health for people with mental health conditions have been ignored or taken for granted. We are supporting and promoting Equally Well UK to help to bring about sustained and significant change across the country.
As a Member-led charity we are fully aware of the physical health inequalities faced by people affected by mental illness. We also know from experience that improving physical health can be a key part of recovery from a mental illness, and essential to achieving a better quality of life.
We should be relentless in addressing the physical health of those with a mental illness and the significant inequality they face. We join the Equally Well collaborative with the aim to play our part in reducing this gap.
We believe that it is fundamentally important that everyone who accesses healthcare is confident that they will receive the best possible care, irrespective of the nature of their illness or infirmity, and we are committed to working with others to achieve this aim.
"We are proud to be part of this critical movement to improve the quality of everyday life for people with mental illness. Physical health concerns often go unrecognised and untreated and this has to change."
"People with severe mental health problems are dying prematurely – largely from preventable illnesses. This is one of our greatest shames as a society. We need to be resolute that through Equally Well we will make this a thing of the past."
"The early deaths and illness experienced by people with a mental health condition are in large part caused by smoking. We are pleased to be part of a movement challenging the norms that perpetuate poor health for this community."
"Physical health and a person’s mental health needs are closely linked and we must all provide person centered holistic care, each person has a unique set of care needs which we all must ensure are met."
“As the third largest health profession, pharmacists working across the NHS can play a key role in improving people’s physical and mental health, so we are delighted to support the launch of the Equally Well Charter.”
Everyone should have the same opportunity to lead a healthy long life, no matter who they are, what their circumstances, or where they live in England. Public Health England is committed to system wide action to reduce inequalities and support people living with mental illness to live well for longer.
Lily Makurah, National Lead for Public Mental Health, PHE
"We are dedicated to providing outstanding and compassionate care for our service users and patients, and by pledging our commitment to the Equally Well Charter for equal health, we will take another step forward to ensuring our services continue to evolve and meet the needs of our communities.
“We will strive to ensure that our services are accessible to anyone experiencing mental health problems. Our colleagues will continue to work with service users to improve their physical wellbeing and to prevent, treat and manage physical health problems, creating individual care plans to their needs"