Preventing diabetes in people with psychosis

The life expectancy for people with psychosis is 20 years less than for the average Australian. And most of the time, cardiovascular causes are to blame – with diabetes often a major factor. In fact, people with psychosis are more likely to die from CVD than they are of suicide. 

The Bondi Early Psychosis Program has been treating 15- to 25-year-old patients for about 15 years, but it wasn’t until 2006 that they began actively addressing patients’ physical health in addition to their mental health. 

Staff had noticed that patients had substantial weight increases, but actual weight gains were never formally measured.

However, when two nurses at the centre began a diabetes education course, the team soon developed a metabolic monitoring form and began screening all patients every three months.

“Many of these young patients had significant metabolic abnormalities even at this early stage of developing