Sudbury study finds significant link between social inequity and mental health-related ER use
Income impacts mental health with significant implications for the provincial health system. An analysis by the Sudbury District Health Unit (SDHU) found that the most socio-economically deprived neighbourhoods in the City of Sudbury experienced almost four times the rate of mental health-related emergency department (ED) visits than the highest income areas. If all Sudburians experienced the same health as those in the highest income areas, the city would experience a reduction of over 14,000 ED visits per year.
The report titled, “Opportunity for All: The Path to Health Equity”, looks at a number of health indicators to assess if differences exist in health due to income. A tool called the Deprivation Index was used to group Sudbury’s regions according to socio-economic characteristics.
Additional inequities between the most deprived and least deprived areas of the city include an obesity rate that is two times higher and an infant mortality rate that is 2.4 times higher.