Certitude joins Equally Well UK
On 13 September 2018 Certitude joined the launch of a new nationwide collaborative, Equally Well UK and signed the historic ‘Charter for Equal Health’.
The Charter for Equal Health offers a vision for improved physical health support for anyone living in the UK with a significant mental ill-health. It sets out how organisations working nationally and locally will tackle one of the biggest inequalities in health anywhere in the UK.
Today, people living with mental ill-health, such as schizophrenia, have a life expectancy up to 20 years shorter than average. Equally Well UK will bring together organisations that have a part to play in reducing this inequality to take concerted action to achieve significant and sustained change.
At Certitude, we believe that everyone has the right to a good life. We focus our support on helping people to define what a good life looks like to them and helping them to achieve it – this includes supporting people to improve and maintain their physical wellbeing.
People we support have told us they want to learn to cook healthy meals, want help exercising and want support around their substance use. We have established a physical wellbeing steering group with an initial focus on:
- Developing materials, details of online and local help for people we support and staff to use. This includes monthly health briefings for people to increase knowledge on a range of health conditions.
- Developing a harm minimisation approach across our mental health services
- Developing new opportunities for people to learn healthy cooking skills
- Increasing people’s access to and confidence in using a range of exercise opportunities.
- Defining our role in advocating for people’s physical wellbeing, access to healthcare and support.
Liz Durrant, Director of Mental Health at Certitude said:
“At Certitude we believe everyone has the right to a good life and that means a life they live to a grand old age, filled with hope, opportunities and good mental and physical health. We are not comfortable with the current truth that having a mental health need puts you at risk of dying 15 – 20 years younger due to physical illness. We want people to feel able to access physical health support and to not have to rely on harmful coping mechanisms in response to their distress. Ultimately, we must create a system where we stop accepting people’s premature mortality as inevitable”.
Liz attended the launch on 13 September with Karen Simpson, Delivery Lead for Transforming Care at Certitude. Karen said of the launch:
“It is exciting to be part of a shared commitment alongside the range of professionals who were also at the launch event – the collective desire to address these health inequalities through the Equally Well UK network came through loud and clear. Through our involvement in Equally Well UK, we will develop the work of Certitude’s Health & Wellbeing Steering Group.”
Certitude is proud to be part of the growing membership of Equally Well UK and encourage our peers to sign the Charter for Equal Health to work together for a better, healthier future for people experiencing mental ill-health.