A new campaign by the mental health charity, Hafal, to improve the physical health of patients and carers dealing with mental health conditions has been endorsed by Vale of Clwyd AM, Ann Jones.
People with a serious mental illness have a life expectancy around 17 years lower than the general population and this is mainly caused by preventable physical health problems. As for carers – 80% have seen a negative impact on their physical health as a result of caring and many put this down to a lack of practical support.
Speaking at the Denbighshire campaign launch in Rhuddlan, Ms Jones said: “It is so important that patients and carers look after both their mental and physical health. If one deteriorates, it can often have negative impacts on the other aspect.
“Exercise can be very therapeutic for some mental health conditions and so this approach could see improved health outcomes for both aspects of patients’ health”.
The ‘Let’s Get Physical!’ campaign sets a challenge – both to service users and carers and to our service providers – to radically improve physical health. People with a mental illness and their carers will set their own physical health goals and the charity Hafal will work with Welsh Government, health boards and other service deliverers to ensure that frontline staff like GPs and nurses understand the need to ensure that physical health problems are prevented from escalating while treatment continues on the mental health problem.