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Links between physical & mental health

Improving the physical health of people with a lived experience of mental illness or alcohol or other drug use can contribute to improvements in overall wellbeing.

People who live with mental illness and problematic alcohol or other drug use are more likely to experience poor physical health. This can not only can hinder their recovery, but can also have financial and social impacts.

Improving the physical health of people with a lived experience is a key driver for change outlined in Shifting minds: Queensland Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drug Strategic Plan 2018-2023. It calls for integrated models of care to ensure an equal focus on a person’s physical and mental health. 

Recognising the role physical health plays in overall mental health and wellbeing, we are undertaking a project to identify reform opportunities that improve the physical health of people with a lived experience.

Stakeholders across private, public and non-government sectors have key roles to play in improving the physical health of people with lived experience, yet with numerous strategies and initiatives at various stages of implementation, more can still be done. 

Project overview

The project’s objectives are to:

  • consider the protective factors for physical health, the prevalence, health inequalities, known physical health side effects of medications, and risk factors that impact on a person’s physical health
  • identify evidence-based frameworks, strategies and policies implemented by international, national and state and territory governments, professional colleges and associations, and identify any gaps for improving the physical health of people with a lived experience 
  • identify evidence-based initiatives and best practice models across the public, private and non-government sectors to determine efficiency, scalability, social and economic impacts, and cost-effectiveness, and identify enablers of and barriers to successful outcomes.

Aspex Consulting has been contracted to undertake this project work on behalf of the Commission. 

The Equally Well Consensus Statement, which aims to improve the quality of life of people living with mental illness by providing equal access to quality health care, is embedded in the project.

 A project steering committee has been established with broad representation from health and other sectors. The committee will be guided by established terms of reference and will provide advice and champion this project. 

The project, which began in October 2018 will conclude in October 2019.

An Environmental Analysis and Research Report, Case for Change and Final report will be published on the Commission’s website in October 2019.

If you would like to be involved in this project, please contact us.