“Serious Mental Illnesses Reduce Life Expectancy by 10 to 20 Years”

“Serious Mental Illnesses Reduce Life Expectancy by 10 to 20 Years”

A clinical study performed by researchers at the University of Oxford has found that “serious mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years…a loss of years that’s equivalent to or worse than that of heavy smoking.”

Negative Impact For Those With Mental Illnesses

In over 25 years representing individuals with disabilities, including those with mental illnesses such as Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, our firm has seen the negative impact that mental illness can have on individuals and their loved ones. Social stigma, scarcity of access to appropriate healthcare and lack of a support network can devastate the lives of those battling mental illness.

In the context of our work representing individuals whose disability claims have been denied by their insurance companies, we see that stigma surrounding mental illness is still alive and well. It is much more likely for an individual with a physical disability to be approved for benefits than an individual with a mental disability. That’s why our work as legal advocates is critical. Through every case we pursue for an individual with mental illness, we demonstrate that mental illnesses are just as serious and disabling as other, more apparent disabilities, such as a broken leg or a frozen shoulder.

Breaking Down Barriers

The University of Oxford study and others like it not only help to raise awareness and break down social barriers, they also emphasize the urgent need to develop more medical services and resources for those affected by mental illness. As the study notes, “[These] figures on life expectancy should galvanize governments and health and social services to put a much higher priority on how mental health services can prevent early deaths.”

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Source: University Of Oxford

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