This page contains links to materials in this online resource that can support you to involve service users when commissioning and providing services for people who have a serious mental illness (SMI).
Listening to the service users and carers – often referred to as ‘service user voices’ – is critical in understanding the causes of premature death for people living with serious mental illness (SMI), including risk factors and social determinants. Their perspectives must be incorporated in the design, delivery and evaluation of recommended activities in order to improve the opportunities for closing the mortality gap for this group of people.
There is a challenge in supporting individuals to self-manage their physical health in a system that can be described as prescriptive and focused on risk, symptoms and treatment. Policy makers, commissioners, providers and service users need to collaborate to address improving physical health outcomes and mental health. Mental and physical health should be treated together. When an individual’s mental health suffers, their physical health does too. Equally, when physical health is poor, mental health is impacted.
The online resources shared here have drawn on insights from reports that provide service user and carer feedback and from our surveys and workshops that were supported by National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and Rethink Mental Illness.
Key themes for change
We have developed key recommendations that will support system change and effectively address the serious mental illness (SMI) mortality gap. Follow the links for more information and tools to support you:
- The medical model
- Providing essential information: lack of essential information
- Creating supportive environments
- Improving access to services
- Co-production: involvement and influence
- Care planning and self-management
- Meeting diverse needs
These key themes are important target areas to help achieve optimal mental and physical health outcomes for individuals with serious mental ill health. They are consistent with the key principles set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.
Tools to help you
- NSUN: Healthy Lives Project. The Healthy Lives Project report summarises physical healthcare experiences of people with serious mental illness diagnoses and makes recommendations for change.
- Rethink: 20 years too soon report. Rethink’s report on physical health experiences of people who use mental health services and their carers and families. It sets out challenges and recommendations.
- Five Year Forward View Mental Health Taskforce set out the key themes that emerged from the public engagement findings: prevention, access and quality.
- Parity in Progress? The All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health’s inquiry into parity of esteem for mental health. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health conducted an inquiry into parity of esteem for mental health, and one of the areas they felt that there was greatest disparity between mental health and physical is in the SMI mortality gap.
- Mental Health Foundation: Crossing the Boundaries. Final Inquiry Report. The Mental Health Foundation’s Inquiry into integrated health care for people with mental health problems provides good practice examples.
- Edinburgh Community Voices: Improving Physical Health for People with Lived Experience of Mental Health Issues Survey Results March 2017. Edinburgh Community Voices carried out a survey to hear from people who have lived experience of mental health issues about what’s important to them when it comes to improving their physical health.