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Toronto Vital Signs Report – Issue eight: Health and wellness

Toronto Foundation has just released Vital Signs Report 2019: Growing Pains and Narrow Gains. This report provides a consolidated snapshot of the trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our city and each of the interconnected issue areas is critical to the wellbeing of Toronto and its residents.

Vital Signs examines ten issue areas. We are going to explore highlights of each of these sections. Issue Eight is Health and Wellness.

Toronto is a physically healthy city, outscoring the rest of the province and country on many indicators of health. Mental well-being is also a critical aspect of quality of life, but in some ways Toronto is not the happiest place — the city has growing mental health challenges.

  • Toronto is physically healthier than the rest of the country and province, and many physical health metrics have been improving over time.
  • Hospitalized strokes, heart attacks, and avoidable deaths have all been decreasing significantly over the last decade.
  • Despite strong physical health, Toronto is by several measures the least happy city in the country, with our young people the least happy of all.
  • Emergency room visits for mental health are increasing extremely rapidly among young adults, as are hospitalizations for eating disorders.
  • Opioid deaths and alcohol poisonings are also increasing rapidly.
  • Lower income is broadly associated with worse health outcomes across most major indicators available in this chapter.

If you are an Ontario resident dealing with everyday stressors or major life events, Big White Wall is an online mental health and well-being service offering self-help programs, creative outlets, and a community that cares. Freely express your thoughts and feelings with unique creative outlets. Interact with a supportive community where everyone’s voice counts. Learn from smart programs and useful resources that help you understand and feel more confident. Feel secure in an anonymous space where your identity is completely private.

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