The National Mental Health Commission has launched the Equally Well National Consensus Statement to improve the physical health and wellbeing of people living with mental illness in Australia.
Physical health is important for everyone, but can be a particular challenge for people experiencing mental illness.
In Queensland, people with a mental health problem are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and more likely to experience other long-term health problems such as cancer and diabetes. These Queenslanders are more likely to consume alcohol at risky levels and smoke tobacco daily. They are also less likely to undertake physical activity which, when combined with other factors such as the effects of medication, increases the risk of chronic and life-threatening physical health conditions. Sadly, many people living with mental illness die younger than the rest of the population.
Equally Well calls for better collaboration and coordination between governments, professional bodies, social and community services and other leaders in mental health to make the physical health of people living with mental illness a national priority.
The Queensland Mental Health Commission supports this initiative.
Read more about Equally Well at www.equallywell.org.au