Improving physical health
Good physical health is a significant component of overall health and wellbeing. We make it a priority to support the physical health of consumers and staff.
People experiencing severe mental health issues have higher rates of physical illness and a life expectancy of up to 30% shorter than the general population.
Mental health issues can contribute to a lack of regular health checks, poor follow up from primary care, challenges to maintaining healthy behaviours, and disconnection from local health services. The side-effects of medication can also impact on physical health.
Neami’s approach is driven by this evidence and emphasises the importance of good physical health as part of overall wellbeing.
In particular, it’s understood that making changes in four key areas can help to improve health and wellbeing, including:
- Increasing knowledge about links between physical and mental health
- Participating in regular health screenings
- Regular visits with health professionals and primary health care providers
- Utilising supports to make health-related lifestyle changes
We have an embedded approach to health promotion in our services. Staff work with consumers on physical health issues including:
- Physical health screening
- Smoking cessation
- Oral health
- Management of chronic disease
- Healthy behaviours
- Peer Health Coaching
Guide conversations about physical health
Neami has developed and trialled Australia’s first physical health needs identification tool designed specifically for a community mental health setting.