Durham Mental Health Services and Seamless Care Pharmacy Announce Free Metabolic Syndrome Screening Clinics

Clinics Help Individuals Living with Mental Illness Take Charge of Their Health and Prevent Serious Physical Illness

WHITBY, ON (July 7, 2010) – Prevention and early intervention are critical when it comes to physical health problems. Individuals living with mental illness now have another way to flag potential health risks thanks to a new partnership between Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) and Seamless Care Pharmacy (Seamless Care).

Beginning in September 2010, DMHS and Seamless Care will host a series of free clinics to screen for metabolic syndrome. The clinics are open to all DMHS clients and to anyone living with mental illness. As part of the agency’s focus on physical health, DMHS staff are also encouraged to get screened.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and other serious illnesses including diabetes. Once a potential risk is identified, clients can manage their health by becoming more active, following a nutritious diet, and connecting to appropriate healthcare resources.

DMHS Executive Director Rob Adams says that helping clients improve their physical health is a high priority for the agency.

“We can’t look at mental health in isolation. People with mental health issues are at higher risk for developing serious physical health problems, which interferes with recovery. One of the best ways to improve mental health is to make healthy choices with one’s physical health.”

Mohammed Younis, Seamless Care’s Community Liaison, says that the clinics raise awareness of potential health concerns and promote timely, effective intervention.

“At Seamless Care, we’re not just concerned with medication. As pharmacists, our goal is to help people achieve their best possible health. By screening for metabolic syndrome, we create a system built on prevention and intervention, one that will help people at risk receive timely healthcare services and take control of their health.”

The free clinics for clients and staff are one component of a broader effort to raise awareness of the importance of physical health. DMHS also hosts health education and physical activity sessions and offers healthy menus at their Supportive Housing and Crisis locations. Physical health is a routine area of assessment and DMHS community mental health workers help clients take action to improve their overall health.

Please see the schedule below for information on the first two clinics.

September 22, 2010  - 9:30 to 11:30am

DMHS Administration Building, 519 Brock Street South, Whitby

October 19, 2010 - 1:00 to 3:00pm

Cormack Station -Heritage Community Housing Corporation, 250 Hickory Street South, Whitby

About Durham Mental Health Services:

Serving Durham Region for over 20 years, Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) offers a range of programs to help individuals and families manage the impact of mental illness and work towards recovery. Services include immediatecrisis support, longer-term supportive housing, case management, and mental health court support, and specialized services for families. DMHS works in partnership with local healthcare and human service providers to deliver accessible, coordinated, and person-centred care. For moreinformation, visit their website at www.dmhs.ca. 

About Seamless Care Pharmacy:

The mission of Seamless Care Pharmacy (Seamless Care) is to optimize drug therapy across the continuum of care and to outreach to patients where they live, work, and play. Their drug therapy experts, led by Chief Pharmacist Dr. Murad Younis, provide and manage a comprehensive range of evidence-based best practice drug therapies at two state-of-the-art facilities in Peterborough and Whitby, ON. For more information, visit their website at www.seamlesscare.ca.

Submitted by David Clarke, Coordinator, Communications and Training, Durham Mental Health Services