Poor physical health is rife among people with severe mental illness in the UK, a study shows.
The study leader said mental health nurses might be partly to blame for setting a bad example.Wha..?
Some studies suggest the life expectancy of people with severe mental illness is as much as 25 years shorter than that of the general population.Which is unsurprising, as severe depression is likely to lead to lack of exercise and comfort eating, amongst other things. Other illnesses, particularly the compulsive ones, will no doubt have similar effects.
The latest work, published in BMC Psychiatry, adds to evidence that physical health, not mental health issues, such as suicide, are primarily to blame.
It found that inactivity, poor diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption were the norm.
Lead researcher Professor Richard Gray, of UEA's School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: "Mental health nurses do a tough job and are compassionate and highly committed.Well, that’s because they have other doctors for those issues, isn’t it? How about getting the professions involved in liaising and talking to one another, and co-ordinating their efforts??
"But they do not tend to be skilled at managing the physical health of their patients."
But no, clearly, the answer is to have super-fit Aryan Puritans as an ‘example’:
Professor Gray said that many mental health nurses often did not follow a healthy lifestyle themselves.Really? Clearly sanity isn’t rubbing off, is it? Perhaps their problems are more complicated than your facile argument would suggest?
His previous research has showed that mental health workers have a higher rate of smoking than the general population.
He suggested that their bad habits might rub off.
"Since mental health workers tend to have sustained one-to-one relationships with their patients over many years, those who smoke, have a poor diet and fail to take regular exercise are having a negative influence on the lives of already vulnerable people. "Just how close a one-to-one relationship are we talking about, that it would be apparent to the patients?
Presumably they aren’t scoffing burgers and chainsmoking Players in front of them, are they?
"We urgently need to train our mental health workers to lead by example and intervene if their patients' physical health is deteriorating.The only thing you need to ask them is: Are they doing their job? If ‘no’, then you’ve got bigger problems.
"All health professionals have a duty to promote health in the patients they treat.
"Government guidelines must reflect the shared responsibility all health care professionals have to promote health in one of the most marginalized and socially excluded groups in our society."
If ‘yes’, then it’s really none of your business how they conduct their own lives, is it?
And while we’re on the subject, is the desire to meddle and control and hector others to fit in with your own warped views on ‘normality’ a type of mental illness? Because it sure seems like there’s a lot of it about, lately…