Project Description

Both Closing the Gap and Equally Well UK focus on the inequality in physical health experienced by people with a diagnosis of severe mental illness.

Closing the Gap have once again teamed up with Equally Well UK to work on this resource based on key tips and suggestions shared by their Expert by Experience members on topics from the Closing the Gap’s OWLs Study. The Closing the Gap network, set up a study called OWLS (Optimising Wellbeing during Self Isolation) to see if the physical health gap had widened as a result of COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed on us all.

367 people contributed to the study and the results were discussed with a number of people living with a diagnosis of severe mental illness and their carers. The results of the study can be found here.

Key findings from the study

  • Since March 2020 people are doing less physical exercise and eating less healthy food
  • Over half of respondents who smoke reported smoking more during the pandemic so far
  • During the pandemic, living alone and being younger were associated with loneliness among
    people with serious mental illness
  • Almost a third of people who weren’t currently receiving support from mental health services thought that they would need support in the next year

Using points from both Expert by Experience groups we have shared some of their key tips and suggestions for positive change for both people living with severe mental illness as well as for those responsible for providing and making decisions about services.

We hope you find it useful.

Download here: Impact of Self Isolation on Physical and Mental Health