President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Dinesh Bhugra has said: ”Historically, government public health strategies have concentrated on physical health and overlooked the importance of both mental illnesses and mental well-being. But there is no health without mental health.”
A recent study released earlier this month revealed that mental illness costs the English economy a staggering £105 billion a year, only adding further weight to the idea that investing in mental health now could save millions in the future.
There is a huge amount of evidence suggesting that there is a link between mental and physical health and that mental illness is associated with a greater risk of physical illness and vice versa.
In addition to this, a report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists has found that individuals with mental disorders smoke almost half of all tobacco consumed in the UK and account for half all smoking related deaths. Statistics also show that depression doubles an individuals chances of developing coronary heart disease.
Recommendations from the Royal College of Psychiatrists include prioritising mental health patients in anti-smoking programmes and promoting the importance of mental health issues in older aged sufferers.
“Including mental health at the heart of the public health agenda will improve people’s lifestyles and reduce health-risk behaviours, thereby both preventing physical illness and reducing the burden of mental illness on society.”
Professor Dinesh Bhugra