People who struggle with serious mental illnesses are more likely to die early—about 10 to 30 years early—than those without mental illness from any cause. Many factors contribute to this disparity including poor access to care, undetected health conditions and difficulty managing chronic health conditions. Addressing physical illness in those with serious mental illness has been a major challenge. To address this, researchers tested a peer-led intervention called the Bridge that helps patients with mental illness prioritize their health, access health care and develop skills to self-manage their health. The approach showed a 50% reduction in emergency room use for those in the intervention group.
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