A mentally healthier nation

27 September 2023

Towards a ten-year, cross-government plan for better prevention, equality and support

Edward Davie

Mental health in the UK is getting worse. Sickness absence due to mental illness is soaring, rates of mental health difficulties are increasing at an alarming rate, and already overstretched services are struggling to meet rising demands. Along with over 30 organisations with an interest in mental health, we have developed a plan to address this and build a mentally healthier nation.

Our plan focuses on three key areas: prevention, equality and support. We have set out concrete policies which we want to see adopted as part of a ten-year, cross-government mental health strategy, ideally to begin in the first year of the next parliament. We are calling for all political parties and parliamentary candidates to include these ideas in their manifestos ahead of the next UK General Election.

Prevention: By effectively addressing social determinants, like poverty and discrimination, and environmental factors, including housing and pollution, more of us can have better mental health. Investing in more powerful public health infrastructure is also key to preventing illness and promoting better health.

Equality: Discrimination and disadvantage mean that risks to mental health are much higher in some groups, such as racialised communities. And people with mental health difficulties are often treated less well in society, including in the social security and justice systems. Building a mentally healthier nation requires concerted action to tackle these inequalities and close the health gaps between different groups.

Support: Everyone should be able to get timely access to local mental health services when they first need them. By properly resourcing these services, minimising the use of coercion and widening access, especially for children and young people, we can majorly improve people’s mental health outcomes.

The nation’s mental health is a precious resource. So we’re calling on MPs and parliamentary candidates to adopt these policies, include them in their parties’ election manifestoes, and deliver them in government.

A mentally healthier nation is supported by the below organisations:

Logos of 65 organisations supporting A Mentally Healthier Nation: Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health Foundation, Mind, NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, Rethink Mental Illness, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Association of Mental Health Providers, Student Minds, Anna Freud Centre, The Mix, National Survivor User Network, Mind Forward Alliance, Place2Be, Samaritans, YoungMinds, MQ Mental Health Network, MHFA England, BACP, National Children's Bureau, Schools Wellbeing Partnership, Childhood Bereavement Network, National Bereavement Alliance, Children & Young People's Mental Health Coalition, UK Youth, ASH, Alcohol Health Alliance UK, Association of Directors of Public Health, The Children's Society, Diabetes UK, Race Equality Foundation, Stonewall, Money & Mental Health Policy Institute, Turning Point, Agenda Alliance, Think Ahead, Global Action Plan, BPS, CareIf, CMHP, Centre for Society & Mental Health, Marie Curie, MS Society, National Voices, NCSCT, NDTI, New Economics Foundation, The Neurological Alliance, NSPCC, Royal College of Nursing, RCPCH, Thrive LDN, Youth Access and others

Join us in the fight for equality in mental health

We’re dedicated to eradicating mental health inequalities. But we can’t do it without your support.

Please take this journey with us – donate today.

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