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Equally Well: Physical health

Equally Well: Physical health

Equally Well is a group of people and organisations with the common goal of achieving physical health equity for people who experience mental health and addiction issues. People who access mental health and addiction services are at the centre of this work.

Everyone should have the same opportunities to be physically well. However that’s not always the case.

In New Zealand and overseas, people experiencing addiction and mental health issues tend to have worse physical health than their counterparts in the general population, and a shorter life expectancy. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer and oral health issues are more common for this population group.

Equally Well is about taking initiative and working together for change. Equally Well supporters span the health, mental health and social sectors, and include community organisations, mental health and addiction NGOs, primary care, district health boards, medical colleges and education providers.

Become part of the movement and help make a difference for the people your service or organisation supports.

Ngā Waka o Matariki - Equally Well Māori health strategy

Developed by a rōpū of Equally Well champions, Ngā Waka o Matariki is grounded in Te Tiriti partnerships, inter-connectivity with Papatūānuku and associations of mutual nourishment, nurturing and humanity. Ngā Waka o Matariki seeks to inspire people to take action to improve the health care journey of Whai ora Māori and Whānau.

Dr Helen Lockett talks about Equally Well

Equally in action

We’re calling on people and organisations to use your influence in finding solutions that achieve physical health equity for people who experience mental health and addiction issues. We know that by working together, we can create lasting change.

Equally Well prescribing toolkit

Te Pou has collaborated with the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and Wellbeing Wellington to develop this toolkit to assist the conversations between a prescribing health professional and a person accessing their service about wellbeing and physical health equity.

The evidence, resources and tools

The evidence shows that people experiencing mental health and addiction issues experience physical health inequities, and are more likely to die much earlier than their counterparts in the general population.

The problem Equally Well addresses

People accessing mental health services have more than twice the mortality rate than the general population. Equally Well works towards addressing the physical health inequities for people with mental health and addiction issues.

Equally Well and COVID-19

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is an especially important time to achieve equity in supporting the physical health needs of people with lived experience of mental health and addiction issues.

SEE US Campaign

This national campaign was designed to overcome diagnostic overshadowing -a blind spot when mental health and addictions health histories overshadow physical health needs. The campaign draws attention to it by giving a platform to the voice of lived experience and provides a multimedia toolkit for Equally Well partners.

Equally Well backbone team

The Equally Well backbone team provides overall direction, facilitates communication and action, including through Loomio and the e-news, works with champions to encourage and support activities, and shares stories of good practice from around the country. Backbone support is one of the most important factors for successful collaboration.

Key contact