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Quality of Life – Equality in Life

Equally Well aims to improve the quality of life of people living with mental illness by providing equal access to quality health care. By championing physical health as a priority, Equally Well ultimately aims to reduce the life expectancy gap that exists between people living with a mental illness and the general population.

Background

The National Mental Health Commission has led the development of Equally Well in Australia to show a commitment to putting the health care of people living with mental illness and the rest of the population on an equal footing.

In July 2017, Professor Alan Fels launched the Equally Well National Consensus Statement at the National Press Club.  This statement was written with the intended purpose of improving the physical health of people living with mental illness.

The statement came about after an extensive consultation process, involving a series of interviews and workshops and was based on Australian and international research and policy. Subsequently, a consultation draft was circulated and made available. The feedback and submissions in response to the consultation draft were incorporated in the final version.

This entire process was guided by an Expert Advisory Group set up by the National Mental Health Commission. To date over 70 organisations have signed up to Equally Well and to ‘making the physical health of people living with mental illness a priority at all levels: national, state/territory and regional’.

Since that time Equally Well has also become a priority action of The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

Approach to implementation

Based on a clear understanding of the importance of co-design and co-production with consumers and carers, Equally Well is based on a model of collaborative action and collective impact. To support this, a group of key stakeholders’ including consumers, carers, community managed organisations, primary health networks, public mental health services and professional organisations, has been brought together to regularly monitor, oversee and provide strategic advice to the implementation.

 

The Equally Well digital presence

The Equally Well website has been designed to promote collaboration, awareness and sharing of resources to help improve the physical health of people living with mental illness. It is designed for people living with mental illness, their carers and supporters, clinicians and service leaders. If you would like to share useful resources or stay in touch with the latest developments and news click here.