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BPS News

BPS proud to support Equally Well UK

13 September 2018

A new initiative to tackle one of the biggest health inequalities has been launched today in collaboration with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and 20 other professional organisations, charities and health service bodies across the country.

Equally Well UK is a new collaborative bringing together organisations who can play a part in reducing the 15-20 year life expectancy gap facing people with a severe mental illness in Britain today. 

Founded by the Centre for Mental Health, Kaleidoscope Health and Care and Rethink Mental Illness Equally Well UK is based on a similar scheme running in New Zealand that successfully brought together organisations involved in mental health and physical health in a common effort to reduce the health gap.

By promoting and supporting collaborative action Equally Well UK aims to replicate their success and improve physical health among people with a mental illness in Britain. 

Organisations joining Equally Well UK are asked to pledge how they will work to reduce the health gap and also sign a Charter for Equal Health to demonstrate commitment to lasting change.

Sarb Bajwa BPS Chief Executive said:

“The British Psychological Society is determined to address inequity by working collaboratively with other health professions in raising standards and training to ensure that those living with mental illness can access the healthcare they need.”

Facts and figures

  • The life expectancy of a person living with psychosis in the UK is 15-20 years shorter than average: most of this ‘gap’ is caused by poor physical health
  • People with psychosis are two to three times more likely to have diabetes than average
  • People with psychosis are two to three times more likely to have high blood pressure, heart attacks and/or strokes - cardiovascular disease.
  • Smoking rates among people with psychosis are between 50 and 80 per cent compared with 16 per cent of the general population
  • People with psychosis are more likely to die from cancer

The BPS Pledge

Psychological assessment and formulation uniquely uses a biopsychosocial approach to consider the whole person including both physical and mental health. The British Psychological Society advocates that all health and social care practitioners practise individualised care and consider a person holistically as so often physical and mental health are intrinsically linked. For example, the Society has produced a position paper on dementia and is working on a paper regarding autism. These advocate that people with dementia and people with autism receive equal treatment of co-occurring conditions. These messages have been and will continue to be shared with MPs commissioners and wider stakeholders. 

Click here to access more information about Equally Well UK.


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