Alcohol and tobacco use, self-harm higher in Eastern Ontario, health unit says

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – It seems Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry and Prescott-Russell have higher rates of self-injury, smoking and booze consumption.

That’s according to a benchmark report released today (Monday) by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

While other health issues rank about the same as the rest of Ontario, self-harm, such as cutting, happens to about 206 in every 100,000 people in Eastern Ontario compared to 155 in the rest of the province. The rates are even higher when you look at just women in Eastern Ontario.

For tobacco use, 16 per cent of people ages 12 and older are smoking compared to 12 per cent across Ontario.

When it comes to alcohol, 44 per cent of legal drinkers in Ontario went over the low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines in Ontario. In SD&G, P&R it was 48 per cent.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says the report represents a “call to action” to various agencies to work together on mental health promotion.

The health unit is a planning a mental health awareness campaign in the coming months.