Physical overlooked in mental health treatment

A NEW Australian resource offers advice on assessment and monitoring of the physical health of patients with mental illness, which its developers say is “woefully inadequate”.

The kit, Clinical Guidelines for the Physical Care of Mental Health Consumers, detailed in the October issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, was developed by researchers from the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Western Australia.

It followed a survey of Australian psychiatrists showing that screening for obesity, hypertension and metabolic abnormalities was not occurring in many services despite its acknowledged importance.

“Despite the high risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, the screening of psychiatric patients for physical health disorders is woefully inadequate,” the researchers said.

“The overarching aim of the package is not to simply identify