Overview and key themes

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:

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

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