New Report: “40 is too young to die: A call for action from Toronto’s Early-Onset Illness and Mortality”
The Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs (OFCMHAP) would like to announce the release of “40
is too young to die: A call for action from Toronto’s Early Onset Illness and Mortality Working Group” by a coalition of
Toronto agencies, academics and supportive housing providers. The report refers to extensive research and studies which
indicate that individuals with mental health and addiction issues, have consistently higher mortality rather than the general
“40 is too young to die” confirms that individuals with mental health and addiction issues are at a much greater risk of
exposure to infectious diseases, early onset of chronic diseases and death. Those with serious mental illness and concurrent
disorders are more likely to suffer from multiple medical conditions. The report also showcases the direct link between
mental health and poor determinants of health such as poverty and homelessness which act as hurdles to physical health and
contribute to the early onset of chronic or ongoing physical conditions.
In an effort to minimize the impact of mental health and addiction issues as well as poor determinants of health, the report
calls on the Toronto Central LHIN to add early-onset illness and mortality as part of its strategic plan. The report claims
that this addition would be aligned with the LHINs commitments to health equity, pilot projects and is already supported
through research, and successful models in other jurisdictions which will help guide the way.
To support this, the report proposes the development of a Think Tank on Early-Onset Illness and Mortality to bring together
administrators, educators, researchers and practitioners from the health sector as well as consumers and front-line housing
and agency staff. A Think Tank on Early-Onset Illness and Mortality will help to increase knowledge exchange, identify
successful models for expansion and replication, identify potential partnerships and alter practices that perpetuate
discrimination and stigma. The Think Tank would explore topics such as service co-ordination, bringing health care to the
home, expanding access to one-stop clinics, providing training for health care professionals, and improving communication
among care providers.
This report is crucial to help provide individuals with mental health and addiction issues with appropriate access to
services, and create a system around prevention to promote better physical and mental health. As identified in “40 is too
young to die” the cost of doing nothing will only result in higher emergency room use, more hospitalization and unsuccessful
treatments rather than aiming to improve the well-being of these individuals.
To access the full report please click on the following link: http://www.mainstayhousing.ca/PDF/40isTooYoungtoDiepaper.pdf
OFCMHAP would like to acknowledge Mainstay Housing, Houselink Community Homes, AIS, COPA, Woodgreen Community Services,
Margaret Frazier House, Dixon Hall, Street Health, St Stephen’s Community House., South Riverdale Community Health Centre,
Ryerson University Faculty of Arts and York University Faculty of Social Work and who together were members of the Early
Onset Illness and Mortality Working Group, which Mainstay convened, and also people with lived experience, for their
contribution to this report.
OFCMHAP brings together community mental health and addiction services in the province of Ontario to help members provide
effective, high-quality services through information sharing, education, advocacy and unified effort.
Reproduced from http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/516976