Why should mental healthcare be part of physical healthcare?

Mental illnesses and physical health conditions are interwoven. Many patients who suffer from mental illness also suffer from physical health conditions, either as a consequence of the treatment they receive, or as part of the complexity of the illness itself. Many health care systems do not adequately provide an integrated approach for physical and mental health care. Often an individual receives mental health care from one organization and physical health care from a different system. In some cases, one condition may be looked after while the other is not.

The consequence of fragmented or incomplete care is that the individual does not receive appropriate holistic care and, thus, may have a lower life expectancy and a poorer quality of life. Many people who live with serious mental illness also have other long term physical health problems or co-occurring mental health conditions and the additive effects of each health condition often produce worse overall health outcomes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.