On average, people with major mental illnesses live 25 years less than the general population – and the major health risk is NOT suicide. The major risks are diabetes complications and cardiac, respiratory, and infectious diseases.
John Allen of the New York State Office of Mental Health spoke at our Fall 2008 educational program about the health problems associated with major mental illness.
Mr. Allen’s talk discussed the statistics behind early death – and he also shows how how simple lifestyle changes can decrease the likelihood of developing life-shortening health problems.
With Mr. Allen’s permission his talk is available at this link:
Click here for Powerpoint slides for “Increasing the Lifespan”
Finally the New York State Office of Mental Health gives out a free SPAN (Smoking Cessation; Prevention; Activity; and Nutrition) Toolkit CD that is filled with information on how to increase the lifespan of people with serious mental illness in New York State.
Some of this information is posted on the lifeSPAN Wellness Toolkit – Table of Contents.
Here is the Complete Wellness Handbook from that CD (Adobe Acrobat format).