The NAMI Hearts & Minds program is an online, interactive, educational initiative promoting the idea of wellness in both mind and body. Wellness is an ongoing process of learning how to make choices that support a more successful, healthy life.
Engaging in a wellness effort can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. One study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that taking the wellness approach can result in a 17 percent decline in total medical visits and a 35 percent decline in medical visits for minor illnesses.
Wellness is about the individual; you can decide what parts of your life you would like to change and you can determine your own success.
Increased Heart Disease Risk for People with Mental Illness
People living with mental illness are often at higher risk for heart disease and much of that risk is preventable.
People living with mental illness are more likely to have classic heart-risk factors, such as cigarette smoking, obesity, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and hypertension (high blood pressure), some of which can be compounded by some antipsychotic medications.
Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes
America is having an epidemic of diabetes according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Unfortunately, the risk is greater for people living with mental illness, especially those taking second-generation atypical antipsychotic medications (SGAs). Another issue to be aware of is metabolic syndrome, a condition that can be a precursor to diabetes.
FAQ About Wellness and Mental Illness
The more you know, the more you can increase your odds of living a long and full life. Knowledge is power and even small changes in your choices can help improve your life. Have questions or concerns?Take a look at frequently asked questions answered by NAMI Medical Director Ken Duckworth, M.D.
For More Information about NAMI Hearts & Minds
- Call NAMI Santa Clara County: (408) 453-0400 (Monday thru Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm)
- Learn about other NAMI Education, Training and Peer Support programs