Free resources from Rethink to help mental health professionals address the physical health needs of their patients


The charity Rethink Mental Illness has launched a comprehensive range of new tools to help mental health professionals address the physical health needs of the people they work with.

The tools have been developed as part of the 20 Years Too Soon campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the fact that people affected by severe mental illness die on average twenty years younger than the general population, mostly as a result of preventable physical conditions.

The new resources have been developed in collaboration with mental health professionals and experts, and include a free, easy-to-use e-learning training package which is designed to highlight the key physical health risks that affect people with mental illness. It will also help mental health professionals approach these concerns with confidence.

Rethink Mental Illness has also developed and piloted the Physical Health Check, a tool designed to help professionals monitor people’s physical health and develop plans to address any issues.

The resources are part of a project funded by the Department of Health.

Paul Jenkins, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said:

We are delighted to launch these resources, which we hope will equip mental health professionals with the knowledge and awareness needed to deal with people’s physical health needs.

It really is a disgrace that people with severe mental illness die on average twenty years younger, mostly from preventable physical illnesses and it is a problem that urgently needs to be addressed. We hope that by encouraging professionals to use these resources, we can start to reduce the number of people with mental illness whose physical health is overlooked.

The new Physical Health check tools are free to use, and can be accessed at

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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