Equally Well: Improving the physical health of people living with mental illness

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People living with mental illness die on average, 20 years earlier than the general population (Thornicroft, 2013). People living with severe mental illness are 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 (National Mental Health Commission, 2016). Two-thirds of this premature mortality is due to preventable and treatable physical illness (Cunningham, Peterson, Sarfati, Stanley, & Collings, 2014). The reasons behind this are complex and interrelated. They include factors such as the effects medication, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, diagnostic overshadowing and the role of the healthcare system in exacerbating this disparity (Blanner Kristiansen et al., 2015). This presentation will update and outline the current status and approaches to implementation of EquallyWell, Australia and EquallyWell, NewZealand. More than 100 organisations in each of these countries have committed to action in their spheres of influence. The presentation will overview the similarities, differences and collaboration between the two countries. It will also detail the role of consumers and carers in design and implementation. Finally, it will review the status of physical health initiatives associated with EquallyWell in the implementation of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2018
EventTheMHS Conference: Hear the Whisper, Not the Roar - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 28 Aug 201831 Aug 2018


ConferenceTheMHS Conference
Internet address

Grant Number

  • 0000102246


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