Consumers of mental health services die an average of 25 years earlier than the general public. Many of the health conditions that are associated with death in the United States and premature death in mental health consumers can be prevented and managed with positive health habits. The six most common causes of death are heart disease, cancer, stroke, lung conditions, accidents, and diabetes. We assert that many of the known risk factors for early death can be addressed with positive health habits. We discuss barriers to ideal health care, describe what is known about effective interventions for common risk factors, and, where information is available, what kinds of special interventions have been found to be effective for mental health consumers. We close with a set of recommendations based on three levels of interventions: those that can be readily implemented with little additional resource; those that require local leadership and some resources; and those that require national leadership to transform the current poor health status of many consumers in the United States.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health