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.
For too long we have neglected the physical health needs of people living with mental illness. Resulting tragically in lives cut short. It is time to act and end this outdated health inequality.
“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.”
“My desire is that we move to a place where we care for the person rather than the illness and needs are met by one service. I’m therefore delighted to support Equally Well UKs ambitious charter”
“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.”
“We embrace the opportunity the Equally Well initiative provides to work in partnership to improve the quality of life and life expectancy for people in our communities with mental illness.”
“We are excited to join the new ‘Equally Well’ collaborative. This is a great opportunity to learn with and from others about how we can best deliver high quality holistic care for our patients.”
“We are committed to joining up mental and physical healthcare, training and research to improve health outcomes for our patients. Equally Well provides a fantastic platform to do this.”
“The Equally Well network presents a valuable opportunity to bring together our partners’ collective strengths to help make whole person care a reality for our patients and local population.”
“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.”
“For such a health inequality to still exist is unacceptable. The College of Mental Health Pharmacy is proud to join this group of organisations to finally make a change for the better.”
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.