Article written by Independent Healthcare Writer, Claire Read.
That people living with severe mental illness have a life expectancy 15-20 years less than that of the general population is a stark reality. In the vast majority of instances, these premature deaths can be explained by physical conditions – and may often have their roots in behaviours driven by a lack of mental wellbeing.
It is a strong argument for considering health and wellbeing together and doing away with the traditional division between mental and physical healthcare; a separation that many would argue has always been artificial and unhelpful. But what will need to happen for services to integrate in this way? What other services might need to feed in if we are truly to create a setup in which a person is considered in their entirety rather than as their condition? And where is progress already being made?