Improving the health of people living with both mental and physical health problems was identified as a priority in the NHS Long Term Plan (2019). More recently, Wellbeing and mental health: Applying All Our Health (2022) has once again highlighted the stark inequality in life expectancy experienced by people with mental ill-health. Successive studies have shown that people with severe and enduring mental ill-health in particular, are at greater risk of developing long-term physical health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory and metabolic conditions, and cancer. Consequently, they are likely to live with poor physical health for a greater proportion of their life and have a substantially reduced life expectancy compared to the general population. Our aim is to address this gross health inequality: by undertaking research to better understand the causes and consequences of living with both mental and physical health problems; and by working with people with lived experience, and NHS, social care and third sector partners to develop and test new approaches, and put research findings into practice.
Our Mental and Physical Multimorbidity theme is led by Professor Simon Gilbody at the University of York and Professor Scott Weich at the University of Sheffield. We have six main workstreams: Natural Environment (including human-animal interaction); Smoking and Mental Health; Social Prescribing; Bridging the Digital Divide; Health Informatics; and Youth Mental Health (joint with the Healthy Childhood theme). You can find out more about each workstream by clicking on the buttons below.