Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Healthy Active Lives (HeAL): tackling premature death in young people with psychosis

It is still in the news they are still talking about people with mental illness dying 15- 20 years younger than the rest of the population. This story talks about young people with mental illness and how they want to battle them dying early. “Compared to their peers who have not experienced psychosis, young people with psychosis face a number of preventable health inequalities.”  These inequalities are preventable they say.We already know they die earlier than the rest of the people without psychosis. 

·         A lifespan shortened by about 15-20 years. 

·          2-3 times the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease making it the single most common cause of premature death (more so than suicide).

·         2-3 times the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

·         3-4 times the likelihood of being a smoker

I can make sure I do not get diabetes and stay a nonsmoker as I quit fifteen years ago.  I just have to make sure I take my walks.  I am battling losing weight it comes off slowly which I hope is good.They would like to get rid of the stigma and prejudice that prevent young people who have psychosis from leading healthy lives and they have ambitious targets for the next five years they would like to see that.

·         90% of young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis and their families or supporters are satisfied that they made treatment choices informed by an understanding of their risks for future obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

·         Within a month of starting treatment, 90% have a documented assessment which includes risks for future obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

·         All young people receive a regular review of their medication to mimimise the development of complications of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

·         75% gain no more than 7% of their pre-illness weight two years after starting antipsychotic treatment.

·         75% maintain blood glucose, lipid profile and blood pressure within the normal range two years after initiating antipsychotic treatment.

·         2 years after the onset of psychosis

·         90% receive health promotion advice on healthy eating, tobacco and substance use, dental care and sexual health.

·         Fewer than 30% smoke tobacco

·         More than 50% engage in appropriate physical activity.

I know for me before I gained weight I was a smoker and when I quit I started buying more food because I was low income and all my money before went on cigarettes.  I had never weighed before than more than 150 pounds.I hope this works for the young people who get a mental illness.  “I should not lose the physical health I possess, as a consequence of my mental illness, or my care and treatment.”  To have a good mind from the medication you should not have to compromise your health. I remember when I did not weigh as much I would walk just a little farther than I do now and I always stayed thin.  Now I have to fight to lose any weight.  Although I will not give up especially since I do not want diabetes.

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