There is no new normal: Brexit and mental health in the UK since 2016

By Mark Brown

Centre for Mental Health’s writer-in-residence, Mark Brown, in this fourth piece of writing for the Centre, explores the implications of Brexit for mental health in the UK. Three years on from first raising concerns about the potential impact of the 2016 referendum on mental health, this commentary looks at what we know now in the context of a fast-moving situation about both the impacts of changes that have already taken place as a consequence and at what may be to come.

Mark argues that, whatever one’s views about Brexit and the likely effects, it will have a profound impact on the nation’s mental health (and mental health services) and the lives of people with mental health difficulties. Seeing mental health as marginal to the Brexit debate, he argues, has added to the risk of harm in both the long- and short-term. 

This commentary is published at a time of considerable change. It offers a perspective on an uncertain future, with a view to ensuring that the mental health impacts of that future are debated and given the prominence that they deserve.

These pieces are part of our writer in residence programme, and are the writer’s personal views.

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