The World Health Organization (WHO) today announced the first global guidelines for managing the physical health status of adults with severe mental illnesses.
According to the WHO, people with severe mental illnesses usually have an expected life expectancy of between 10 and 20 years less than the general population. These include moderate to severe depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychotic conditions.
Although most of these premature deaths due to physical health conditions, access to comprehensive health services that offer health promotion, analysis and treatment programs for physical and mental health remain outside their reach. of most of them.
New WHO guidelines, the first of its kind, seek to help treat people with severe mental illnesses suffering from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C and addictive illnesses. tobacco, abuse of alcohol or other substances and / or overweight.
They provide recommendations related to lifestyle changes, such as healthier nutrition, increased physical activity and smoking cessation, psychosocial support, and medication, taking into account possible interactions between different prescription medications for mental health and physics.
In order to improve the health of people with severe mental illnesses and increase their life expectancy, guidelines recommend individual health interventions, adaptations to health systems, and actions that can be taken at community level.
In addition, it also includes training of healthcare staff, provision of appropriate medicines, and adaptation of health information systems to collect data on the use of the necessary services that should be established if they do not exist.
WHO stated on an individual level that risk factors for poor physical health, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, or lack of regular physical exercise, as well as physical health conditions, have to be identified and treated.