Frustrated by attending funerals for the early deaths of
patients when he was running a mental health service, Ken Jue
set up a health and nutrition programme.
Mr Jue established In Shape 10 years ago in New Hampshire in
the United States, and the programme has since been
replicated in five states. Mr Jue spoke to about 120 mental
health sector representatives in Dunedin this week at the
Those with serious mental health problems died up to three
decades earlier than other people.
It was the only group in the United States with a declining
Mr Jue said the deaths were deemed to be ''natural causes'',
but they were related to lifestyle factors such as smoking,
poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
In Shape enabled formerly withdrawn and immobile people to
become active citizens, even gaining employment in some
High unemployment was part of the ''dire'' lot of the
mentally ill in the United States, with rates of up to 80%,
The key to the its success was co-operation between health
professionals, and running the activities in public sports
and recreation centres to ensure people were part of the
Southern District Health Board mental health and addiction
portfolio manager Gemma Griffin-Dzikiewicz, introducing Mr
Jue, said the board wanted to improve the physical health of
mentally ill people in the South.