People with schizophrenia will be vastly overrepresented in this summer’s heatwave deaths. Changemakers can prevent that.

Schizophrenia, along with other severe mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, limit a person’s heat regulation abilities – but social determinants of health also play a role.

Why It Matters

Social purpose organizations form the backbone of frontline mental health care in Canada, and extreme heat waves are threatening some of the most vulnerable clients they serve. Without drastic action, death tolls among people with severe mental health issues will only rise in future.

This journalism is made possible by the Future of Good editorial fellowship on climate change and human health, supported by Manulife. See our editorial ethics and standards here.
For one sweltering week in the summer of 2018, Tiohtià:ke, also known as Montreal, faced daytime temperatures as high as 35.5 C during the day – hotter than the summer averages seen in Mumbai. With the humidity, Quebec’s largest city felt more like 40 C, and nightly temperatures never fell below 20 C.
From June 30 to July 8, 2018, this heat wave killed 66 people across Montreal, according to a report released by Montreal’s public health authority the following year. Nearly 75 per cent of the dead had some sort of chronic health condition, and t

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