This Mental Health Week (October 9 – 15, 2016), we are creating awareness about the important relationship between mental health and physical health.
Supporting physical health and wellbeing
Research tells us that people experiencing severe mental health issues have higher rates of physical illness and a life expectancy that is 13-30 years less than the general population. Most commonly, it is physical illnesses such as heart attack and stroke that are responsible for premature deaths amongst people with mental illness. Some of the factors that increase risk include:
- Poor nutrition
- Sedentary lifestyles
- Side-effects of psychiatric medication
Improving physical health
People with mental illness can face challenges that make it difficult to address physical health needs. Based on this understanding of what contributes to poor physical health, making changes in four key areas can provide positive outcomes for health and wellbeing, these include:
- Increasing your knowledge about the links between physical and mental health
- Participating in regular health screenings
- Regular visits with health professionals and primary health care providers
- Using supports to make health-related lifestyle changes
Programs and tools to improve physical health
Neami has developed a number of initiatives to support people with mental illness address physical health needs, such as:
A tool to promote guided conversations between staff and consumers to address health care needs. Learn more.
Peer Health Coaching
A short-term program for consumers to work with a Peer Worker on a specific physical health goal. Learn more.
Eat Plant Learn
Workshops on health and sustainable eating offering a range of opportunities for people to participate in sustainable activities with a recovery focus. Learn more.
Reasons for Use
Resources to support those who want to explore or address their use of alcohol or other drugs.
Mental Health Week activities
To mark Mental Health Week, Neami National will be hosting and participating in a range of activities around Australia. Keep an eye on our news and events to find out what’s happening near you.