Fountain House Celebrates World Mental Health Day By Helping People Live Longer, Healthier Lives

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Free community event on October 9th will educate New Yorkers about the connection between mental and physical health in effort to end early mortality

New York, September 29, 2015 –  Most people will celebrate their 80th, 90th, or even 100th birthday—but statistically people with serious mental illness don’t have a chance at growing old. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), people with serious mental illness have a life expectancy that is 10-25 years shorter than average. Fountain House has teamed up with WHO and Columbia University to put an end to that disparity.

In celebration of World Mental Health Day, on October 9th, Fountain House will host the first of a three-part panel series, Longer, Healthier Lives: Fountain House Shines a Light on Early Mortality, to raise awareness about the epidemic of early mortality among people with serious mental illness.

The physical health of people with serious mental illness is often ignored which leads to significant health disparities. At the first panel, The Connection Between Mental and Physical Health, moderator Cindy Rodriguez of WNYC will interview leading mental health experts.

Dr. Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., Medical Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health and Medical Editor for Mental Health for the Huffington Post will explain the factors that lead to early mortality. “By integrating health and mental health we can save lives and improve the quality of lives for so many people with serious mental disorders,” said Dr. Sederer.

Ezra S. Susser, MD, DrPH, Professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, will share findings from his work in Latin America designed to improve the integration of primary and secondary care for people with severe mental illnesses.

Fountain House President Kenneth J. Dudek, LMSW, will discuss Fountain House’s multi-year partnership with the World Health Organization and Columbia University. “I’m heartened that the research that comes through our partnership will establish best practices to extend and improve the quality of life for people with mental illness to be implemented by governments and health care professionals around the world,” said Dudek.


Friday, October 9th

6:00-7:30 PM: Panel Discussion  

Tours of Fountain House will be given before and after the panel.

Fountain House is located at 425 West 47th Street in New York, NY 10036.



Fountain House successfully addresses the devastating impact of serious mental illness. We were founded in New York City in 1948 with the belief that people living with mental illness can be active participants in their own and each other’s recovery. Each year, over 1,300 members come to Fountain House to contribute their talents, learn new skills, access opportunities and forge new friendships.  

Fountain House has inspired the creation of hundreds of similar programs in 34 countries that serve more than 100,000 people annually.  In 2014, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation recognized our global reach and the efficacy of our evidence-based model with the prestigious Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.


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