Metabolic Health - Its Not Just About Your Head

Let's work together towards a healthy mind and body

Your physical wellbeing is just as important as your mental wellbeing.

Let your mental health service know who your regular GP is.

Make appointments with your GP to have a Metabolic Health Assessment (physical health assessment) every six months.

If you don’t have a regular GP, ask the mental health services for support to find one.

What is a Metabolic Health Assessment?

All Mental Health patients should have a metabolic health assessment, which includes:

  • physical health assessment including checking your weight, blood pressure and measuring your waist circumference
  • regular blood tests to monitor your cholesterol, blood sugar levels and general health
  • an ECG to monitor your heart health if required
  • regular monitoring which includes checking to see how you are going physically and mentally
  • referral for appropriate interventions as required.

People with an enduring mental illness can have poorer health if not managed appropriately
Evidence shows poorer physical health outcomes for people with an enduring mental illness. Statistics show that the average life expectancy of someone diagnosed with a mental illness is 50 to 59 years, 20 years less than the general population average.1

To ensure coordinated and effective health care for consumers with a mental illness, consumers should have a physical health improvement plan.

  • Around 50% of people with a mental illness have metabolic syndrome.2
  • Mental health services, that focus on psychiatric symptoms may overlook physical symptoms.3
  • There are many factors that contribute to the poor physical health of people with severe mental illness, including lifestyle factors and medication side effects.4

Resources for consumers

Information for patients and carers:

Specific requirements:

Resources for clinicians

Visit the Metabolic Health page for information and resources for clinicians.


  1. Professor Brenda Happell CQ University Australia, Researcher focused on increased life expectancy for those with mental illness, 07 October 2011
  2. Lawrence, Coghlan Health Inequalities and the Health Needs of People with Mental Illness NSW Public Health Bulletin vol.13 No.7 155-158
  3. David Lawrence1 and Stephen Kisely2 Inequalities in healthcare provision for people with severe mental illness Journal of Psychopharmacology 24 (11) Supplement 4. 61–68
  4. B Lunnay, P Bywood Co-morbidity of mental and physical illness: Meeting unmet care needs, Research Round up Issue 18 August 2011