There is a clear and critical need to care for mental and physical health simultaneously. Understanding this connection and synergy is vital to overall wellness.

NAMI Hearts+Minds is a wellness program designed to educate and empower you to better manage your health — mentally and physically.

People affected by mental illness have higher rates of other serious health conditions

Two-thirds of deaths are caused by chronic diseases that can be prevented or better managed. And these diseases impact people with serious mental illness at alarming rates.

  • People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population.
  • People with serious mental illness have high rates of obesity — 41% for men and 50% for women.
  • People with serious mental illness have twice the rate of type 2 diabetes than the general population.
  • People with cardiovascular disease and serious mental illness have a 10–20 year shorter life span than the general population.

Mental health is physical health

It's time to correct the idea that mental and physical health are separate health conditions.

The best possible mental health recovery requires attention to all aspects of your health.

You are complex, unique, and interconnected from head to toe. You are a "whole" human being — not a medical condition or a mental health diagnosis. You are not alone, and you are not powerless.

You can improve your symptoms by learning about how your body systems interact, and by effectively managing both the physical effects of mental illness, and the lifestyle options that can help you feel better overall.

Join a NAMI Hearts+Minds course at your local NAMI.

You'll gain information and tools that can help you plan and achieve recovery goals and better overall health...

  • How to advocate for your health
  • How physical and mental health are specifically connected
  • Gut health and how nutrition can affect the brain
  • Current information on the interplay of diet and fitness — and how they can influence your symptoms
  • Effective methods for managing the side effects of medication
  • Substance abuse and smoking cessation
  • How to gain a greater sense of control over how you feel
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