Do we need to give up our physical health
when we have a mental health problem?
We, people experiencing psychosis, their carers,
citizens and mental health care professionals,
agreeing with the international declaration of
HeAL (Healthy Active Lives),
declare today to start actions to achieve its goals in Japan.
Further extending the HeAL’s principles for
young people experiencing psychosis,
we aim to realize the society where physical health of
all people experiencing mental health problem is
valued and needed supports are provided.
Leading healthy active lives both mentally and
physically is one of the fundamental human rights of the people
and the foundation for the development of
our communities and society.
It is required to realize the society
where the fundamental human right is
equally protected for
all people and everybody can proactively maintain and
increase his/her mental and physical health.
Mental health and physical health are
both inseparable and support each other;
when there is a problem in either of them,
the other will be affected.
The mental health crisis is at the same time
the physical health crisis. Integrated supports for
both mental and physical health are
indispensable to recover from the crisis.
However, until today,
when people face a mental problem or
crisis and try to recover
from their conditions, necessary information,
opportunities and supports to maintain and
increase their physical health have been rarely provided.
Therefore, “physical health inequalities” being faced
by the people experiencing schizophrenia and
other psychosis have long been neglected.
Now, we must face this long-neglected problem and
take the first step to overcome.
The time has come to take concrete actions to
realize the society
where the right of people with
a mental problem pursuing physical health is
truly valued and where those people can
enjoy their physical health.
We need to realize the society where,
in its mental health services,
all users and carers can feel,
“my (my family’s) physical health is truly valued”.
In order for that, we promote activities to
raise awareness of mental health care providers
on their service users’ physical health
and improve their clinical practice,
as well as to improve communication
on physical health between the providers and users.
We also actively appeal for the necessity of
research to elucidate
the social and biological causes and
mechanisms of “physical health inequalities”
so that the importance of such research is
widely accepted and a number of researchers
are actively involved in this issue.
In addition to mental health care professionals,
we will “raise awareness”
to involve physical health care professionals and
the public in achieving our aspiration.
Hoping to realize the society
where people can actively maintain
and increase their own mental and
physical health and move forward for the recovery,
declare today to address
the important issues as mentioned above.
November 20, 2014
Working Group of HeAL Japan Initiative
© HeAL JAPAN Initiative 2014 All Rights Reserved.