Saving lives through behavior changes

This July, the Health Education Department promoted disease prevention by outreaching in our shelter sites and surrounding communities. These wellness events, offering health screenings and information, were coordinated with the CFH Social Service and medical teams at our Wards Island and Jamaica Citadel sites.

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council states that "adults who experience homelessness die from heart disease at a much higher rate than those in the general population. One study found that men experiencing homelessness, aged 45 to 64, were between 40 and 50 percent more likely to die from heart disease than their counterparts (Lee, 2005)."

Teaching clients about disease prevention and preventative measures is a year-round focus for Health Educators. In our medical clinics, the team has even expanded their services to include one-on-one health counseling on chronic disease management, weight management and sexual health. Behavioral health is critical in keeping homeless men, women and children on the right track to permanent housing and healthy once they are there.

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