Protecting the physical health of people with mental illness. Presented by Dr Scott Teasdale, APD
The life expectancy of people with severe mental illness is drastically shortened due to physical disease and reduced access to adequate health care. Scott is recognised internationally for his pioneering work in preventing severe weight gain and metabolic abnormalities in people with psychosis. He was the lead dietitian for the 2019 Lancet Psychiatry Commission blueprint for protecting physical health in people with mental illness.
In his presentation he outlines the major mental illnesses, their symptoms and the characteristics of psychotic illness.
He describes the medication treatments and their associated weight gain and metabolic disturbances with an emphasis on best practice psychotropic prescribing.
Scott draws from the 2019 Lancet Commission to explore the role of dietitians in protecting the physical health of people with mental illness.
Nutrition interventions are heavily featured in programs aimed at improving the physical health of people with mental illness. Evidence is now showing that nutrition counselling is effective in preventing the dangerous metabolic and weight changes occurring in people on anti-psychotic medication.
Dr. Scott Teasdale is a Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UNSW. He was the lead dietitian for the 2019 Lancet Psychiatry Commission which was officially launched at the World Psychiatric Association Congress in Lisbon in 2019. Dr. Teasdale was the pioneer dietitian within the multidisciplinary Keeping the Body in Mind Program in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, which aims to prevent the severe weight gain and metabolic abnormalities in people with psychosis. The results of the program led to the permanent employment of 12 full-time positions. During his time within the Keeping the Body in Mind Program, he completed his PhD on the topic: Nutrition interventions in people with severe mental illness and was a recipient of the Graduate Research School Dean's Award for Excellent Thesis. His research continues to focus on mental illness, nutrition and physical health.
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