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NIHR research on support for people with severe mental illness


This report reminds us of the significant disadvantages faced by many people with severe mental illnesses (SMI) – with difficulties in gaining and keeping employment, in maintaining stable relationships and receiving a decent income. They also face distinct inequalities when it comes to their mental and physical health, both in terms of having timely access to evidence-based mental health treatment and a experiencing a greater likelihood of poor nutrition, obesity and smoking-related diseases – all of which can and do contribute to premature mortality. Our intention is to change this as we implement the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. With significantly increased investment in both the mental and physical health of people with SMI, we aim to not only help people with SMI quickly access evidence-based, NICE- concordant mental health care; we also want them to access NICE-concordant physical health care, to secure gainful and meaningful employment and for services across a range of sectors to work together to help improve their clinical and social outcomes in such a way that they have the same opportunities to live healthy, full and fulfilling lives like anyone else. In our view, we can no longer accept women and men with SMI struggling to access the high-quality care and support they ought to receive during their lifetime and dying 15 to 20 years before they should. The findings set out in this useful research review will support this drive to improve care – and, indeed, lives – and we commend the report to you.

Read the full report