Serious Mental Illness refers to a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or a history of psychosis. People with SMI face stark health inequalities and are less likely to have their physical health needs met.

Compared to the general population, individuals with SMI are:

  • Facing a shorter life expectancy by an average of 15-20 years, mostly due to deaths from cardiovascular disease;
  • Three times as likely to smoke;
  • At twice the risk of obesity and diabetes;
  • At three times the risk of high blood pressure.

Physical Health Checks for people with SMI

In order to address this inequality, a national programme was launched in 2019 to increase delivery of annual Physical Health Checks at GP surgeries and specialist service settings, and follow-up interventions, and to commission new services with our partners in the voluntary sector to support people diagnosed with SMI to access health improvement and lifestyle interventions.

The patient’s perspective

In the following video, our guests with lived experience talk about their experience with the physical health checks.

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