Mental Health Foundation publishes major new report on social inequalities and mental health problems

The Mental Health Foundation today launched its briefing paper: Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems: How everyone can flourish equally. The briefing paper aims to help people to understand the huge role that social and economic inequalities play in causing mental health problems and what can be done to reduce their negative mental health effects.

Tackling social inequalities  draws together evidence on the mental health effects of poverty and income inequality, adverse childhood experiences, racism, sexism and other cultural group inequalities, health conditions, disability and ageing, and environmental factors such as housing and the built environment.

Commenting on the paper, Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said:

“Socially disadvantaged children and adolescents are two to three times more likely to develop mental health problems. We owe it to them to act, collectively and individually, to reduce social and economic inequalities and their mental health effects, so that everyone has an opportunity to have good mental health and to flourish.”

The briefing paper identifies ways that public agencies, local communities and individuals can reduce the impact of inequalities on mental health. Effective measures include reducing poverty and income inequality, providing adequate, safe, secure housing and access to the natural environment, and protecting people from adversity, abuse, prejudice and discrimination.

Mark continued: “Policymakers and leaders across government should apply a mental health ‘lens’ to their policy areas; all should consider how they can reduce socioeconomic inequalities, and by doing so, recognise that they are helping to realise the UK’s mental health ambitions. As individuals, we all have a role to play in advocating for such change, and in our own actions. By being active participants in our communities and supporting resilient, connected neighbourhoods, we can all contribute to reducing the impact of social and economic inequalities on mental health.”

Ends

Notes to Editors: For further information contact the Press Office on 020 7803 1110 or e-mail press@mentalhealth.org.uk.  The Mental Health Foundation is a mental health research charity.  Prevention is at the heart of what we do.  Our vision is for a world with good mental health for all.