Promoting the sexual health of people living with severe mental illness
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Promoting the sexual health of people living with severe mental illness

Pras Ramluggun Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England
Tammy Tibbatts Community Mental Health Practitioner, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, England
Rachel Luby Clinical Lead, East London NHS Foundation Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the sexual health needs of people experiencing severe mental illness (SMI)

  • To familiarise yourself with the role of the mental health nurse in promoting sexual health

  • To improve your knowledge of the barriers to effective sexual health in people experiencing SMI

Sexual health is an important part of an individual’s overall health profile. However, for people with a severe mental illness (SMI), maintaining optimal sexual health can be a challenge. Mental health nurses have an important role in addressing patients’ sexual health needs. Nurses’ beliefs, outlooks and resulting attitudes towards a patient’s sexuality appear to be one of the barriers to promoting sexual health for people experiencing SMI. This article examines the issue of sexual health for patients with SMI and the factors affecting the promotion of optimal sexual health in this patient group.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2020.e1465

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Ramluggun P, Tibbatts T, Luby R (2020) Promoting the sexual health of people living with severe mental illness. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2020.e1465

Published online: 11 August 2020

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