What is HeAL?
A group of clinicians, service users, family members and researchers from eleven countries have joined forces to develop an international consensus statement on improving the physical health of young people with psychosis.
The statement, called Healthy Active Lives (HeAL), aims to reverse the trend of people with severe mental illness dying early by tackling risks for future physical illnesses pro-actively and much earlier.
Compared to their peers who have not experienced psychosis, young people with psychosis face a number of preventable health inequalities:
A lifespan shortened by about 15-20 years.
Two to three times the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease making it the single most common cause of premature death (more so than suicide)
Two to three times the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
Three to four times the likelihood of being a smoker.
The HeAL statement reflects international consensus on a set of key principles, processes and standards. It aims to combat the stigma, discrimination and prejudice that prevent young people experiencing psychosis from leading healthy active lives, and confront the perception that poor physical health is inevitable.
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