A new RCN report says nurses are best placed to help close the huge gap in life expectancy between people with serious mental illness and the rest of the population.
According to the World Health Organisation, people with serious mental illness die up to 20 years before the rest of the general population. Clinicians agree that the biggest reason for this lower life expectancy is the failure to detect and treat the physical health problems of people with mental illness. This includes conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and lung disease.
In 2017, RCN members called for more action to address the current mortality gap for those with a serious mental illness. In response, the RCN developed a Parity of Esteem Programme and is working with other organisations to address the problems those with serious mental illness face.
As well as practical advice and tips for nursing staff, the report published today highlights case studies where nurses have put steps in place to improve mental health patients’ physical health.
Read more of this article on the RCN website