MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ILLNESS
ANCHOR LEAD :PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC MENTAL ILLNESS ALSO FACE PHYSICAL ILLNESS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
State run hospitals for people with mental illness continue to close their doors in record numbers, with often dire consequences for their patients. Anita Everett, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins and recipient of a grant to help address the healthcare needs of this population, explains.
EVERETT: This will help to address a movement toward community resources as opposed to institutional care, being in a long term hospital or state hospital setting. In the days when our patients were in hospitals their care was all inclusive and included health care. :13
Everett says the lack of coordinated care often shortens lifespans.
EVERETT: Why is it that people with mental illnesses die earlier than the general population? On the average we know that people with serious mental illnesses die about 25 years earlier and about 20 of that is due to illnesses and health situations that could be managed if these individuals were worked with a bit more intensively. :16
Everett hopes teaching people with serious mental illnesses how to become vested in their own healthcare will help. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.