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June 29, 2005

Physical Health Needs Attention

According to the BBC, "experts believe poor physical care contributes towards a three times higher rate of premature death among those with severe mental problems." Specific statistics estimate that those with severe mental illness have five times the risk of diabetes, and twice the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory disease, when compared to the general population

A lack of care for physical health, often manifest in lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and hygiene, puts this group at higher risk for disease and illness.

A proposed solution is a "holistic approach" to treatment plans of those with illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. A holistic treatment plan would include regular assessments of physical health, as well as strategies for improving physical health in daily life.

Says Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, "adopting a holistic approach would help to improve the overall health and daily lives of many people."

Source: "Mental health care 'not holistic' ". BBC News (, June 29 2005.

See complementary treatments that can help improve physical and mental health for people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. ( Healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise patterns are three factors that are relatively easy to implement, and can have a profound effect on health.


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