Equally Well is a programme of collaborative action in New Zealand to address the poor physical health and reduced life expectancy of people who experience mental illness and/or addiction. Equally Well is an initiative of Platform and Te Pou who, along with more than 40 partner organisations, are taking action to effect change.
It is well known that people experiencing mental health and/or addiction issues also have worse physical health outcomes than their peers, and a lot of work has been done to address this over the years. However this is the first time the health sector and service users have committed to working together in this way.
In 2015, Comcare endorsed the Equally Well Consensus Position paper and formed an internal committee to ensure Equally Well is embraced throughout the organisation and any related service developments are implemented.
Comcare’s CEO Chairs the Canterbury Regional Equally Well Committee which has representation from Specialist Mental Health Services, Pharmacy, Primary Care, Community Health, Consumer Advocacy and Kaupapa Maori services. The Committee has collated a list of the physical health programmes currently being offered in Canterbury for people experiencing mental health illness. The resource is intended for use by the sector to assist people access the appropriate supports they need to help improve physical health and wellbeing. It is updated twice yearly and can be downloaded by clicking on the image below:
The Royal New Zealand College of GP’s recently endorsed the Equally Well Consensus paper and published an action statement confirming it’s commitment to the initiative. A special edition of its magazine, GP Pulse, dedicated to Equally Well, is available by clicking on the image below.
This article in the Global Qualitative Nursing Research journal looks at Mental Health Consumer Experiences and Strategies When Seeking Physical Health Care: A Focus Group Study. Click on the image below to read the article.
The British Journal of General Practice recently published an article on prescribing for patients with cardiovascular disease, and found that people with serious mental health issues were less likely to receive optimal care than the general population. Click on the image below to read the article.