New project focuses on cardiovascular screening for those with serious mental illness
Evidence shows those with serious mental health illness can die up to 25 years earlier than the rest of the population, with cardiovascular disease accounting for 40–50 percent of this, largely preventable, premature mortality.
The maximising physical health project aims to ensure consumers on clozapine and long-term IMIs are screened annually for cardiovascular disease and receive risk-factor reducing treatments if needed.
From June 2022, the Commission’s Te whakanui ake i te hauora ā-tinana | Maximising physical health project began working with the interim Health New Zealand to help people with serious mental illness live healthier, longer lives by improving the reliable delivery of timely screening, monitoring and treatment for cardiovascular risk factors.
In early July 2022, ahead of a co-design phase organised by the Commission, letters highlighting the need for cardiovascular disease screening to be implemented and measured for consumers on Clozapine and long-term IMI were sent by Commission CE Janice Wilson to DHB CEs, clinical directors, MHA directors of nursing and general managers, the MHA QI network and others.
Recipients were asked to send the Commission their project teams’ contact details by 27 July.