Summarised in an Academy of Royal Colleges publication66 types of physical health problems associated with mental ill health include:
- Major depression doubles the lifetime risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Standardised mortality rates for older people with depression is two to three times higher if untreated or unresolved
- People with schizophrenia are three to four times more likely to develop bowel cancer
- People with schizophrenia have a 52 per cent increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Co-morbid health anxieties or mental health disorders are associated with:
- Poorer objective health outcomes
- Poorer subjective health outcomes
- Higher use of healthcare resources
- Wider costs of, for example, lack of employment, sickness absence, informal family care and support.
Many individuals do not have physical and psychological needs met through:
- The continued stigma of mental health problems
- Physical explanations may be more acceptable and understandable
- A continued lack of expertise and training in psychological assessment, management and mindedness for many practitioners
- Inadequate service design and provision
- Lack of integrated ‘whole person’ commissioning structures and provider organisations
NICE clinical guidelines for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders 67-68 include recommendations for physical healthcare, and within regular case reviews, community mental health services are expected to ensure access to regular physical health checks and healthcare.