Skip to main content

Improving the physical health of adults with severe mental illness: essential actions

A report of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Royal Colleges of General Practitioners, Nursing, Pathologists, Psychiatrists, Physicians, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Public Health EnglandThe

The physical health of people with severe mental illness (SMI) is significantly worse than the health of the general population.

People with SMI:

- have a life expectancy that is shortened by 10–20 years (Davies, 2013)
- have higher rates of physical ill-health than the general population
- have higher rates of health-risk behaviours, including obesity and tobacco smoking (approximately twice as high than the general population) (Davies, 2013)
- are likely to have a long-term physical condition (Naylor et al, 2012).

This report recommends practical ways to improve physical healthcare services for people with SMI. There is no room for complacency and it is crucial to take this opportunity to make a difference now.