CNS aims to reduce terrible disparity in life expectancy for those with severe mental illness

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175502286Community Network Services (CNS) is pleased to announce the first annual CNS Journey to Wellness Fundraising Breakfast that will take place on Thursday, October 24, from 8:00 – 9:00AM at the Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac Centerpoint in Pontiac.


With the theme, “Connecting Mind & Body”, CNS is aiming to raise $50,000 to endow a CNS Wellness Program fund that will bring chronic disease management, fitness, nutrition, and smoking cessation resources to benefit the adults with severe mental illness who receive behavioral health services at CNS.


CNS has been drawn to the wellness mission based, first of all, on the alarming data that reflect that people with severe mental illness die 25 years younger than their peers without mental illness.  Secondly, the creation of an integrated behavioral health/ primary care clinic in partnership with the Oakland Integrated Healthcare Network (OIHN) in Waterford this past March has generated the synergy to optimize resources to better manage chronic diseases and offer preventative solutions.


The fundraiser is a new type of event for CNS as it is a breakfast event, will be just one hour long, and is free, with no obligation to donate.


The Journey to Wellness breakfast will take place on the 50th anniversary of the initial legislation signed by President Kennedy creating the community mental health structure.  While the community mental health movement has come a long way in 50 years, much remains to be done.  We believe our wellness initiative and the associated fundraising breakfast represents a significant step forward in funding solutions that address the total health of those with severe and persistent mental illness.


Incorporated in 2002, CNS is a “core provider” in the Oakland County Community Mental Health network that serves nearly 5,000 adults with a broad variety of programs in clinical locations in Waterford and Farmington Hills.

For more information about the CNS Journey to Wellness Fundraising Breakfast, including sponsorship and volunteer roles, contact Mary Madigan, Manager of Development & Community Relations, at 248-871-1488 or at

Mental Illness, Physical Health& Poverty

Mental health and physical health are inextricably linked. Evidence has shown that mental health disorders—most often depression—are strongly associated with the risk, occurrence, management, progression, and outcome of serious chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease and cancer.(Healthy People 2020)


People with serious mental illness die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population. (National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, 2006)


People with serious mental illness have poorer access to established monitoring and treatment guidelines for physical health conditions. (National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, 2006)



Obesity and sedentary behavior are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and reduced life expectancy. Over 42% of adults with a serious mental illness are obese and fewer than 20% of people with schizophrenia engage in regular moderate exercise…(SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, 2012)


An estimated one-third to one-half of people who livewith serious mental illness lives at, or near, the federal poverty level… Forpeople with the most serious mental illnesses, unemployment rates can be as high as 90%.  (NAMI 2010 Face Sheet)

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