May is Mental Health Month and we wanted to highlight some important initiatives regarding wellness and recovery. The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) earlier this year started the SAMHSA 10×10 Wellness Campaign. The campaign’s goal is to address all aspects of a person’s health and wellbeing in hopes of increasing life expectancy for people with serious mental illness by 10 years over the next 10 years.
The rates of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease and the early mortality rate from these types of diseases are often significantly higher for persons with serious mental illness. By addressing modifiable risk factors like smoking, obesity and inadequate medical care, can help reduce the progression or the risk of developing these diseases. The campaign provides a variety of resources, online issues of “Wellness Wisdom” and frequent teleconferences for providers, family members, and consumers.
To date, more than 2000 organizations and individuals have shown their support in promoting wellness to reduce morbidity and mortality for persons with SMI. The Minnesota Department of Human Services, along with other members of the community have developed a statewide initiative, Minnesota 10×10, which also promotes the importance of taking care of your physical health for living a healthier, longer life.
MHAM has joined this quest for wellness and we hope you will pledge your support for wellness too!