Public Health: Mental health

Quick reference guide 

  • You can minimise the stigma and negative attitudes associated with mental illness by raising awareness of mental health conditions and improving patient and carer information
  • Severe mental illness is associated with a 10-year reduction in life expectancy due to physical health problems (including obesity, diabetes and cardiac disease). Smoking, alcohol and drug misuse is more common in people with mental illness. Pharmacies can offer services to promote healthy lifestyles e.g. smoking cessation
  • Underlying mental health problems can cause sleep disorders. Lack of sleep can impact on mental health. Advice on good “sleep hygiene” can help improve sleep quality: 
    • Try to unwind and relax before bedtime
    • Take light exercise each day, avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime
    • Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee, cola) and rich/spicy foods before bedtime
    • Ensure the bedroom is comfortable (not too hot, cold, noisy or bright)
    • Avoid napping during the day
  • Organise successful health promotion events by linking in with national and international mental health campaigns. 

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