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Day of Action on mental health in Taunton
2:00pm Sunday 7th October 2012 in Taunton
MENTAL health campaigners in Taunton are taking part in a day of action this week in a bid to stop people dying 20 years too soon.
The Rethink Mental Illness charity is marking World Mental Health Day with an event in Vivary Park on Friday (October 12) to raise awareness of the physical health needs of people with mental illness.
The event will give people the opportunity to sample a range of activities promoting physical wellbeing, from Zumba to Tai Chi, Pilates, orientation and rope climbing.
There will also be demonstrations of martial arts, a treasure hunt, a health walk and information stalls offering advice on looking after your mental wellbeing. Taunton MP Jeremy Browne is due to attend the event, which is part of a national day of action by Rethink Mental Illness to highlight the fact that people with severe mental illness die on average twenty years younger than the general population. This is mostly from preventable physical illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
Gemma Heyel, of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Very few people realize that if you have a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, your life expectancy is reduced by around 20 years. People with schizophrenia are twice as likely to die from heart disease, and two to three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. It is a disgrace that in the 21st century people with mental illness have the same life expectancy as people in the 1920s.
“The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way, and there are simple steps health professionals can take to tackle this issue.
“We want to encourage health professionals to use the free resources we’ve developed to look after people’s physical health needs, and start to reduce the number of people with mental illness who are dying needlessly every day.”
The event has been organised in partnership with Tone Leisure.