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Reading: Equally Well. A collective impact approach to integration in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.


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Equally Well. A collective impact approach to integration in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.


Russell Roberts

Orange, AU
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People living with mental illness die on average 20 years earlier than the general population. For every one person who die from suicide, 10 to die prematurely due to chronic physical health conditions. The majority of these deaths are avoidable. However, due to a number of reasons, including lack of screening, diagnostic overshadowing, limited access, stigma and discrimination the life expectancy gap has actually increased over the last three decades.

In response to this crisis, Australia, the UK and New Zealand have each instituted national initiatives entitled Equally Well. The Equally Well initiatives are designed to close the life expectancy gap, and work towards equal access, quality care, and parity of esteem for people living with mental illness.

Integrating care across service providers (public health, non-government, private providers, and advocacy bodies), service types (promotion, prevention, acute care, chronic care), professions (GPs, psychologists, social workers etc) and district boundaries is a complex a challenging task. While each country has adopted a collective impact approach,1 the way this approach has been operationalised varies considerably by country. This presentation compares and contrasts the way the collective impact approach was implemented in the UK New Zealand and Australia. It will highlight areas of success, and also discuss aspects of the programs that have proven challenging.

The presentation will also overview the governance models, social media strategies2 and collaboration mechanisms used, with particular attention to co-design and effective engagement with consumers and carers. Finally, it will examine the role and importance of creating and curating enabling resources such as tool-kits, literature reviews, clinical guidelines and consumer, and carer fact sheets to support collaboration and integration.

1. Roberts R, Lockett H, Bagnall C, Maylea C, Hopwood M. Improving the physical health of people living with mental illness in Australia and New Zealand. Australian Journal of Rural Health. 2018;26(5):354-62.

2. Mehmet M, Roberts R, Nayeem T. Using digital and social media for health promotion: A social marketing approach for addressing comorbid physical and mental health. Australian Journal of Rural Health. 2019;26(6) DOI-04-2019-0054.R1.

How to Cite: Roberts R. Equally Well. A collective impact approach to integration in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;21(S1):128. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2021.


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