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What we say about… Mental health

Mental health · Position statements | June 28, 2023

Our key messages

  • Poor mental health and wellbeing directly affects the UK economy as a result of its effects on the workforce, with reducing productivity and increasing sick days – in turn, challenging economic circumstances and poverty also contribute significantly to poor mental health.


  • Mental and physical health are interdependent and interrelated – mental health and wellbeing is as fundamental to good health for the population as physical health and wellbeing.


  • Health inequalities and mental health are closely linked and have been worsened by Covid-19.


  • A healthy environment is crucial for promoting good mental health and so it is important to ensure adequate green space, community facilities as well as safe and appropriate housing in local town planning.


  • Resilience can be built throughout childhood with early intervention – support should be provided through maternity and early years settings, schools, colleges, universities and the workplace.

Our national recommendations

  • Governments across all four nations should demonstrate their commitment to addressing health inequalities by publishing a health inequalities strategy on mental health and wellbeing.


  • Investment in public health must be increased across the four nations including funding specifically dedicated to public mental health and wellbeing initiatives.


  • National bodies should prioritise mental health prevention, early intervention and wellbeing.


  • At both national and local levels, governments across the four nations should tackle the social determinants of mental health – building wellbeing into policy decision making and funding allocation should be a cross-government priority.


  • Public health should be placed at the centre of planning policy –  that should be safe adequate green space and community facilities to promote mental health and wellbeing.


  • Healthcare professionals and the wider workforce should be trained in mental health, especially in suicide and self-harm prevention, and be able to promote positive mental health and wellbeing and identify those experiencing or at risk of poor mental health.


  • Personal, Health, Social and Economic education (PSHE) should be mandatory in all schools.

Our local recommendations

  • All areas should prepare and adopt a Suicide Prevention Strategy according to their local context and challenges.


  • All providers and commissioners should work together for a whole systems and life course approach to mental health, using a common agreement such as the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.


  • All commissioners/service planners should address health inequalities and cultural/behavioural influences on health choices and normalise discussing and help-seeking for poor mental health.


  • Local public health authorities should lead by example by adopting Workplace Wellbeing Charters and implement cultural changes around mental health and wellbeing, in addition to working with their voluntary and community sector (VCS) and private sector partners to encourage them to do the same.


  • Local public health authorities should develop strong perinatal mental health partnerships that focus on parents’ needs, prevention and early intervention, so as to give every child the best start in life.
Download our mental health position statement in full
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