Why physical health is so important

People living with complex mental health conditions, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, die on average 10 to 15 years earlier than other people in the community. Physical health conditions – including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and lung disease – are the main reason for this, and they often occur as side-effects of mental health medication.

That means help with diet and exercise and smoking cessation is an essential component of good care for severe mental illness, with a positive impact on both physical and mental health.

About Keeping the Body in Mind(gardens)

Keeping the Body in Mind(gardens) is a suite of physical health-related research projects and services aimed to improve people’s quality of life and access to care.

It builds upon the innovative and internationally-recognised Keeping the Body in Mind program – developed by Mindgardens Member South Eastern Sydney Local Health District to prevent and address cardiometabolic health issues.

Mindgardens is leveraging and expanding the scope of the original Keeping the Body in Mind program by supporting translational research activities focused on improving the physical health of people living with complex mental health conditions.

View the KBIM(gardens) Resources including:

  • decision guides and training videos for clinicians
  • goal-setting and education resources for consumers to track their physical health


Current projects include:

Funding Sources

  • Commonwealth grant funding awarded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
  • NSW Mental Health Commission
  • NSW Ministry of Health