Authors: Elizabeth Wallace, VIC
Event: 2013 TheMHS Conference
Subject: HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, INNOVATION, QUALITY, Physical Health and Mental Health
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: It is widely reported that people with serious mental illness experience more physical health problems and die up to 25 years younger than the general population. (Parks. J et al 2006). Risk factors include modifiable lifestyle factors, psychotropic medications, and systemic barriers to health care, such as the division of mental health and primary health services (Dept. of Health 2012). In this paper we will present an overview of the innovative nurse led physical health program at Whittlesea Community Mental Health Centre (WCMHC), a public funded area mental health service in the outer Northern suburbs of Melbourne. The program aims to change the culture within our local mental health service, building on the existing motivation of staff to help our consumers achieve their goals of improved health outcomes. This is achieved by introducing evidence based measures and interventions in a phased and manageable way.