Published On: 23 May 2023Tags: , ,

People with severe mental illness face health inequalities.

They are more likely to have a preventable physical illness, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, than the general population which can lead to a 15-to-20-year premature mortality gap. They are also more likely to have comorbidities and  multimorbidities. Research suggests rates of preventative screening such as physical health checks and cancer screening, are lower among people with a severe mental illness.

In 2021, the Race Equality foundation started a project to better understand whether African and Caribbean people with severe mental illness were aware of and accessing physical health checks, an NHS intervention to detect and treat early signs of physical ill health.

Through partnering with three specialist African and Caribbean-led voluntary organisations, we heard from people with severe mental illness and staff supporting them. There was variation in awareness of physical health checks among people and staff across different locations, with significantly lower awareness in some areas. People faced a number of challenges in accessing primary care. Read the report to find out more.

 

Read the physical health checks report