Evidence shows that people with severe mental illness (SMI) die 15 - 20 years younger than the rest of the population. With Your Health in Mind a mental health team in Salford, have been working on a health improvement project using the Plan, Do, Study, Act improvement approach, to build on existing physical health checks, reduce variation and most importantly improve health outcomes for people with serious mental illness.

As part of Salford Transformation programme, the With Your Health in Mind team integrated into Salford General Practice in April 2019 to review the severe mental illness health register and look at bespoke, personalised ways of engaging people to attend their annual physical health review.

Once successful at engaging people in their health assessment, the team have been keen to think about what matters most to that person, in relation to their health and wellbeing, making this contact more meaningful, conversational and informative.

We are busting myths, breaking down barriers and reducing stigma.

The With Your Health in Mind team are working in partnership with The Health Improvement Team, Community Connectors and General Practice to provide a seamless coordinated approach to health care assessments and interventions, this means the person does not feel that they are signposted/referred on and reduces the feeling of hand offs.

Tammy Young, WYHIM Project Lead, said, “We hope people will have more open conversations about their health and wellbeing, engage in lifestyle interventions and begin to think and feel empowered about the changes they can make. We hope General Practice will learn and gain more information, knowledge and confidence about the connection between mental health, physical health and inequality. Our hope is that General Practice will tackle SMI and health checks with the same amount of energy and vigor they do with diabetes."

The project is due to come to an end in March 2020.

Check out #wyhimGMMH on Twitter for project updates.