Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Public lecture/debate/seminar/presentation › Industry
Equally Well. Quality of life – equality in life
Many people living with mental illness have excellent physical health and livelong, productive and contributing lives. Unfortunately, this is not the experience for all. People living with mental illness die, on average,between 50 and 59 years of age. People living with severe mental illness are 7 times more likely to die early of cancer, 6 times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, 4 times more likely to die of respiratory disease and 5 times more likely to smoke. For every one person with a mental illness that dies due to suicide, 10 die early of preventable physical health conditions. Overall, 80% of those with a mental illness also have a mortality-related physical health condition. The total economic cost of physical illness in people living with mental illness has been estimated at $15 Billion per annum, almost 1% of the GDP. Things do not have to be this way. People living with mental illness have the right to quality health care. Effective mental health and physical health care improves the quantity and quality of life of those with a mental illness. This presentation describes the national leadership model for implementing the recently released Equally Well National Consensus Statement on improving the physical health of people living with mental illness in Australia. It also examines the impact of poor mental health and physical health on university life and the ways in which academics, students and human services professionals can be involved and partner in this national initiative.