Reference Number: 364
There is extensive international evidence of the higher rates of physical illness among people with serious mental illness.
This has a range of consequences, including:
• much shorter life expectancy
• higher levels of ongoing disability because of both
physical and mental illness
• reduced workforce participation and productivity
• greater likelihood of welfare dependency and poverty.
Essentially, people with serious mental illness have the same right to good health as everybody else in the community.
However, the RANZCP recognises that the problems faced by people with both physical and mental illness are multifaceted, complex and systemic. Tackling these will require commitment from all levels of government, from within the health system, from clinicians including psychiatrists and from other health professionals. RANZCP itself also commits to continuing to address this issue as a priority in the training and medical education of psychiatrists, as well as advocacy. This paper is part of beginning this transformational approach to mental health care and psychiatry practice.