It has been claimed that people with mental health issues are less likely to take care of themselves physically.
Dr Sandra Wheatley, social psychologist with a special interest in parenting and family, said: "If you are suffering from a mental illness, then you are much less likely to take care of yourself physically as well.
"It doesn't take much of a leap of the imagination to even an unqualified person to understand that if you are not looking after yourself mentally, you are probably not looking after yourself physically."
Her comments follow research published in the PloS ONE Journal, which found that there is a marked impact of serious mental illness on life expectancy.
The effects recorded were generally higher than similarly calculated impacts of well-recognised adverse exposures, such as smoking, diabetes and obesity.
Ms Wheatley added that it is necessary to look at the health of an individual as "a whole picture", encouraging those who are receiving mental care to look at their own physical health as well.
© Adfero Ltd
Private mental health treatment news: 25 May 2011