New Briefing - Poverty, economic inequality and mental health

The Centre for Mental Health has published another timely and helpful briefing in the context of the post COVID increase in demand for mental health services and the growing cost of living crisis.

The briefing highlights the need to tackle the factors that cause and worsen mental ill health.  Poverty, economic inequality and mental health, by Ed Davie, explores evidence about the links between these factors, showing that living in poverty increases people‚Äôs risk of mental health difficulties, and that more unequal societies have higher overall levels of mental ill health. The briefing also demonstrates that poverty and economic inequality intersect with structural racism to undermine the mental health of racialised and marginalised groups in society.  Policy makers must prioritise reducing these factors as an urgent public health necessity.

Actions to improve mental health recommended by the report include increasing incomes and reducing the costs of the poorest people in society. This would involve increasing benefits and paying the Living Wage, help with housing and childcare costs for the least well-off, and improving access to vital services in the most deprived areas.