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 http://www.rethink.org/phc