Insufficient priority is being given to meet the physical health-care needs of people with mental illness. Mental health nurses, as the largest professional group working in mental health care, have a pivotal role in improving the physical health and well-being of people with mental illness. Through health-promotion strategies, alongside recovery-focused support aimed at avoiding deteriorating physical health, mental health nurses can significantly contribute to improving the current rate of premature death experienced by people with enduring mental illness. Drawing from contemporary policy, alongside practical examples taken from the published literature, this paper considers what constitutes recommended best practice in dealing with the physical health-care needs of people with mental illness. The role that UK-based health-care policy plays in shaping care delivery that meets the needs of people with mental illness is explored and placed within the context of global health concerns. Recommendations are made on how mental health nursing can work to provide evidence for a reassertion that nurses are well placed to work across organizational and professional boundaries to deliver person-centred care and a holistic approach to population health and well-being.
- Best practice
- Health-care outcome
- Physical and mental health comorbidity
- Policy initiative