Fitness Program for Mentally Ill Expands in New Hampshire (Associated Press)


Stephen Bartels, the director of Dartmouth’s Centers For Health and Aging, will supervise a $10 million grant that will incorporate fitness programs into all of New Hampshire’s community mental health centers, reports the Associated Press via the Boston Globe.

The grant will expand the reach of In SHAPE (Self Help Action Plan for Empowerment), a program that has served 150 people since 2003.

Bartels, also a professor of health policy at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, explained that a person with a serious mental illness, on average, has a life span that is 25 years shorter than a person in the general population.

“It can legitimately be said that this is the largest and most important health disparity in the nation that has been unappreciated,” Bartels told the Associated Press.

The grant, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will help implement programs similar to In SHAPE statewide in hopes of assisting 4500 New Hampshire residents over the next five years.

Read the full story, published 2/23/12 by the Boston Globe.

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