The world of health is full of jargon. It turns out there’s a thing called ‘diagnostic overshadowing’.
Diagnostic overshadowing is when people don’t see a need someone has because they can’t see past another condition, like a mental health condition, a learning disability or autism. As a result sometimes physical health conditions get missed and people can fail to get checks like cancer screenings that everyone should have.
Nationally people with a severe mental illness, learning disability or autism die on average twenty years younger than the population as a whole. There may be lots of contributing factors around communication with health practitioners, lifestyle and the side effects of drugs but the fact is this difference in life expectancy is clearly unacceptable.
So what do we do?
Well the good news there’s lots of good work happening already, whether its integrated work to help people think about how physical conditions affect their mental health (and vice versa), support for people to stop smoking, access to tailored physical activity or advice for people whose prescribed drugs may lead to weight gain.
We want to make sure we find more effective ways to look at physical and mental health together and deliver these initiatives right across Sheffield.
We are launching this work with an event on the morning of December 4th at St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane. To join us please use the following link: