Equally Well is a group of people and organisations with the common goal of reducing physical health disparities between people who experience mental health and addiction conditions, and people who don’t. Mental health and addiction service users are important partners in 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 with mental health and addiction conditions 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.
Te Pou is pleased to launch the 2017 Equally Well evidence update on the physical health of people with mental health conditions and/or addiction. Read the full evidence update or a summary.
People who experience serious mental illness (SMI), particularly schizophrenia, have significantly reduced life expectancy and a premature mortality rate two to three times higher than the general population.
This resource looks at the literature on the physical health of people experiencing mental health and addiction issues.
16 November 2018Two pilot audits of the current Hepatitis C (HCV) status of people receiving opioid treatment in 2016 and 2017 indicated that a significant proportion of people had current active HCV infection but were not engaged in treatment.
13 November 2018The Equally Well backbone team presented on the Equally Well collaborative at the Harm Reduction Conference, taking the opportunity to highlight some of the practical harm reduction strategies that are particularly relevant for people who use substances, not just those accessing addiction services.
23 August 2018At last week’s NZMA GP CME South conference Dr Clark reiterated the importance of health equity and in particular highlighted the physical health inequities for people experiencing mental health and addiction issues.
23 August 2018An update on Canterbury DHB consumer advisor Linda Smith's progress with Equally Well education.
23 August 2018Associate Professor David Menkes and Andrea Bates reflect on their recent presentations supporting Equally Well.
23 August 2018A review of 'How to Treat' (Bagnall, C., Codyre, D. & Lockett, H., 2018).
15 March 2018The University of Auckland recently hosted a two-day Equally Well summer school in partnership with Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui and Platform Trust.
12 December 2017The latest review of evidence on the physical health of people with mental health conditions and/or addiction.
15 March 2017In a shared sponsorship between the University of Otago Wellington, and Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, 42 people from all over the country gathered together in Wellington late in February.
16 December 2016Over the past year there has been significant progress in the Equally Well space. Externally there has been changes to government policies that will support the work we are all doing around Equally Well. Alongside these policy changes, there is a growing body of initiatives happening around the country that are addressing Equally Well issues
16 December 2016Physical health issues was a major topic when we joined with the College at their annual conference in Christchurch during October. Supporting the theme of “Recover, rebuild, regenerate” the College devoted an entire afternoon to this stream, chaired by Associate Professor David Menkes.
16 December 2016For the first time in 14 years, new Adult Asthma Guidelines are available (Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ). The importance to Equally Well is evident from the New Zealand Mental Health Survey which found that people with (any) mental health issue had higher prevalence of respiratory conditions; 23 per cent compared with 16.7 per cent in the general population (Oakley-Browne et al., 2006).
16 December 2016Canterbury DHB recently received additional funding from the Ministry of Health for mental health. It is great to be able to announce that some of this funding is going to be used by Pegasus Health PHO to purchase ‘Equally Well’ extended primary care consultations for people who experience mental health problems and/or addiction.
13 December 2016Handover | Issue 37 - December 2016 - Equally Well A recent study on metabolic screening practice in Australian mental health services concluded that it is, in a word, “inadequate”.
29 November 2016Equally Well, a New Zealand collaborative initiative to improve physical health for people experiencing mental health and/or addiction issues, was the topic of a presentation that won the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) Best Paper Award at the 4th World Congress on Integrated Care, last week in Wellington.
8 November 2016Equally Well is an example of building collaborative partnerships around issues, rather than working in organisational silos, and using this to disrupt systems and practices. This was highlighted by Marion Blake in an excellent presentation at the MoH-NGO Forum in October on leading disruption to improve wellbeing.
28 August 2016With the signing of the Midland Service Level Agreement for MHAS's (SLAT), between the Midland DHB and the Midland Health Network, came an agreement to a stepped model of care, which essentially established a whole of sector approach to the provision of services to those experiencing psychological distress and/or psychiatric disorder.
25 August 2016The Equally Well collaborative has scooped the top prize in the Physical Health and/or Primary Care category at the TheMHS Learning Network Awards in Auckland. TheMHS is the largest mental health and addiction services conference in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and is held in New Zealand every eight years.
12 August 2016People who experience serious mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, have a premature mortality rate two to three times higher than the general population. Researchers estimate that cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of this excess mortality. However, people diagnosed with serious mental illness are not currently mentioned in New Zealand clinical guidance for assessing and managing cardiovascular risk.
8 August 2016We were delighted to have a special symposium dedicated to Equally Well at this year’s Conference for General Practice held at the end of July. This shows the relevance and interest there is in these issues from the general practice community. The session was attended by about 40 people.
28 June 2016An opportunity to improve cardiovascular disease health outcomes amongst people who experience mental health issues was taken up recently by the Equally Well backbone group at Te Pou, working with Ruth Cunningham from the University of Otago, Wellington.
28 June 2016Equally Well has formed a group to oversee the development of a recovery focused prescribing toolkit. Full and open conversations about psychotropic medication is a top priority for Equally Well.
12 May 2016There is a significant physical health disparity between people who experience mental health and addiction issues, and people who don't. We look at what's happening across New Zealand to tackle this issue.
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