News –

The mind & body problem: Integrating our physical and mental health care service

One of the starkest health statistics in the UK is the 15–20 year mortality gap for people living with a severe mental illness: up to two decades of lost life.

This project, with King’s Health Partners, will help the team at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust share the results of their ‘Integrating our Mental and Physical Healthcare Systems’ project through two publications.

The project report will share the team’s progress as well as the impact and learnings they have gathered over four years of work. It highlights the many interventions that were made across the trust, raise awareness of physical health issues in people with mental illness and aims to help other organisations include these approaches in their practice too.

Proposed booklet covers

We are also developing a ‘Health Champions’ manual that will help charities and NHS organisations run their own Health Champion volunteer service. Health champions work with patients to develop a personalised physical health goal which then becomes a focus for support in parallel with other mental health issues.

The mind body problem is not just a set of practical challenges associated with clinical care but a wider social and cultural construct.  We hope this work will help us all to consider our mental models and put holistic and inclusive care and wellbeing at the heart of our public service and our community lives.