We shouldn't think of the mind and body as being separate. Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, poor mental health can negatively impact on physical health, leading to an increased risk of some conditions.
Looking after our physical health is important for everyone, but it can be an extra challenge if you have a mental illness. This may be related to the symptoms of the illness or the side-effects of medication. It may be because of smoking, not getting enough exercise, or other lifestyle factors. Physical health problems can also get overlooked when everyone’s focus is on looking after your mental health.
It is important to have regular health check ups if you have a mental health problem, regular health checks are important for all of us to identify early signs of any problems. Early detection of any problem means earlier treatment and a better outcome. You can access this through your GP or talk to your health worker about it.
A healthy lifestyle means enjoying yourself without risking your health. It also means stopping or reducing as much as possible things that are not healthy (such as smoking or abusing other drugs). Being physically and mentally healthy in your day-to-day life helps make all the difference, and includes:
eating and drinking healthily
being physically active in your daily life
staying in touch with others
stopping smoking or cutting down
Rethink offer advice and information about Wellbeing and Physical Health
NHS Choices offers advice about healthy living for everyone on Livewell Hub
The Mental Health Foundation publishes information about what it important for Good Physical and Mental Health and How to look after your Mental Health You can also read the booklet from the British Heart Foundation - Small steps to a healthier heart
Everyone's experience of mental health problems is different and so is the type of support needed. Sometimes we experience mental health problems because of a physical health problem. Click here to watch an Alternative Guide to Mental Health This film has been published by the Kings Fund and shows how mental health services fit in with other health and public services and highlights some of issues people encounter.
Click on the picture below to watch the Healthy Body, Healthy mind video. As part of the Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's work on the Healthy Body Healthy Mind programme, service users explain how their physical and mental health has improved by making some simple lifestyle changes