Equally Well aims to improve the quality of life of people living with mental illness by providing equal access to quality health care.
People with a mental illness have poorer physical health, yet they receive less and lower quality health care than the rest of the population – and die younger. People with psychosis die between 14 and 23 years earlier than the general population. By championing physical health as a priority, Equally Well ultimately aims to reduce the life expectancy gap.
The National Mental Health Commission calls on organisations across Australia to pledge to support the Equally Well Consensus Statement which outlines six essential elements that provide guidance to health service organisations. By pledging to the principles of the Consensus Statement organisations will collectively bridge the life expectancy gap between people living with mental illness and the general population.
Information for signing up to support Equally Well
To sign up to Equally Well and have your organisation’s logo displayed on our webpage, please email the Project Team at [email protected] with the name of your organisation, logo, link to your home page, and confirmation that you have the authority to give formal commitment.
Equally Well Literature Review
The interest and research into the physical health of people living with mental illness is growing. By 2013 there were more than 20,000 publications on mental disorders and cardiovascular disease. This included studies into the premature death, poor health and coexisting mortality-related physical conditions. Studies show life expectancy is shortened by up to 30 per cent for clients of public mental health services compared to the general population. This equates to a life expectancy of between 50-59 years. One in nine Australians aged 16-85 have a co-existing mental disorder and physical disorder.
The Equally Well - Physical health of people living with a mental illness: A narrative literature review by Associate Professor Russell Roberts summarises the body of evidence on poor health outcomes for people living with mental illness.