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Digital Subscriptions > Mental Health Nursing > April/May 2018 > Equally Well: building a new collaborative for equal health

Equally Well: building a new collaborative for equal health

Andy Bell reports on a new initiative to support the physical health of people with a mental illness

One of the starkest statistics in health in the UK is the 15-20 year mortality gap for people living with a severe mental illness: up to two decades of lost life expectancy.

This inequality in the most basic marker of public health is considerably higher than the much-talked-about differences in life expectancy between geographical areas (as troubling as they are).

Shocking statistics sometimes become so well known and widely cited they lose their ability to shock and instead become accepted fact. This, however, is an inequality that needs to continue to shock everyone who has a part to play in tackling it into concerted action.

The reasons why people with a severe mental illness have such a reduced life expectancy are numerous and complex, and it is not unique to the UK.

Most of the causes of premature death among people with a severe mental illness are the same as for the rest of the population, including cancer and heart disease.

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About Mental Health Nursing

This issue features a range of news, features and papers on mental health nursing, including a student focus on carrying out assessments, an initiative to support the physical health of people with a mental illness, an evaluation of emotional intelligence tests in recruitment, an examination of non-violent resistance, an article by comedian Jake Mills on his personal experience and campaigning in mental health, an introduction to the power threat meaning framework, and an interview with Vanessa Garrity.