Good mental and physical health matter for all of us.
For people living with a mental illness, it’s especially important as research shows they are at higher risk of physical health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, for example. For people affected by physical illnesses, too, there are higher rates of mental health problems such as anxiety disorders and depression.
SANE Australia’s Mind + Body Initiative recognises that a healthier life includes both mental and physical wellness, and promotes common sense steps to improve health for the whole person. As well as campaigning for improved treatments and support, SANE has developed a range of resources in this area.
SANE Healthy Living DVD Kit
People living with mental illness talk frankly about the effects on their bodies, and what helps them to get physically healthy. Kit includes DVD plus SANE Guide to Healthy Living.
Healthy Living Toolkit: Resources for mental health NGOs
Mental health non-government organisations (NGOs) can play an important role in improving the physical as well as mental health of people severely affected by mental illness. SANE's Healthy Living Toolkit includes best practice Guidelines for NGOs on this topic plus a range of other helpful resources.
For people with long-term health conditions
SANE works in partnership with other health organisations to develop Guides and other resources on good mental health for those with chronic physical health conditions. Resources available so far include:
- SANE Guide to Good Mental Health for People affected by Kidney Disease
Available from Kidney Health Information Service: 1800 4 KIDNEY (543639).
- SANE Guide to Good Mental Health for People affected by Diabetes
Available from Diabetes Australia: call 02 6232 3800 or visit www.diabetesaustralia.com.au to order.
- Staying mentally healthy when you have a spinal cord injury is a SANE Factsheet available from this website. See other helpful resources on living with spinal cord injury here.
SANE Guide to Healthy Living
A guidebook in easy-to-understand language to help people with a mental illness look after their physical health. Includes information and tips on common sense steps to achieve a healthier lifestyle and finding support to do this.
Looking after your physical health: Checklist
Regular health checks are especially important for people living with a mental illness, to pick up any potential problems early so they can be prevented, diagnosed and treated. SANE is developing resources to empower people with a mental illness to look after their physical health.
The first of these is a special Factsheet including a checklist of helpful tests and topics to discuss with your doctor (developed in partnership with St Vincent’s Health Service in Victoria). This is being distributed via GPs through out Australia and is also available as a downloadable Factsheet from the SANE website.
Smoking rates among people with a mental illness are much higher than the general population. SANE has developed resources specially to help them quit, including the SANE Guide to a SmokeFree Life, and the SANE SmokeFree Kit for health workers to run quit smoking programs tailored for people with a mental illness (to download program material appendixes for the Smokefree Kit click here). See a report on how the Kit has been used in the NSW Breath Easy Project. The SANE Smokefree Guidelines for NGOs (available here) also provide an overview of how to implement a smokefree initiative.
The Department of Health and Ageing, in partnership with SANE Australia, has also developed resources to help people with a mental illness to quit smoking. There is a range of resources and tools for people with a mental illness who want to quit smoking, as well as information for family, friends, carers and health professionals on how to support someone with a mental illness to quit smoking. Download factsheets for the person quitting, supporter, and health professional and visit Quitnow.
The SANE Smokefree Guidelines for GPs is an information pamphlet for GPs on this topic. A study of the human and economic costs of smoking among this group - Smoking: Costs - has been commissioned from Access Economics, and is available from this website.