Equally Well aims to improve the quality of life of people living with mental illness by providing equal access to quality health care.
The Commission led the development of Equally Well in Australia to show a commitment to putting the health care of people living with mental illness and the rest of the population on an equal footing.
Equally Well has been established to champion physical health as a priority for people living with a mental illness and to ultimately reduce the life expectancy gap between people living with mental illness and the rest of the population. People with a mental illness have poorer physical health, yet they receive less accessible and lower quality health care than the rest of the population – some dying younger, when they might have enjoyed greater longevity with better access to consistent, high quality health care and follow up - issues that the Commission prioritises and continues to address.
The Commission continues to call 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 about how to effectively recognise and respond to the health needs of people living with mental illness. By pledging to the principles of the Consensus Statement organisations will collectively support people living with a mental illness to live longer and enjoy a good quality of life.
We are all committed to putting health care for people living with mental illness on an equal footing to that of people without a mental illness.
The Equally Well website has resources which provide information about how to improve the physical health of people living with a mental illness and are tailored to consumers, carers, professionals and service providers.
A summary, published via Equally Well, called Physical health of people living with a mental illness: A narrative literature review, by Associate Professor Russell Roberts, examines this issue more closely. It discusses the body of evidence related to poor health outcomes for some people living with mental illness and is available on the Equally Well publications page.