Inequalities in health, including mental health, have been highlighted in national reports for at least 40 years. But despite multiple policies and programmes to address them, these inequalities persist.
Mental Health for All? finds that mental health inequalities mirror wider economic and social inequalities. Wealth and power inequalities put at risk the mental health of people experiencing poverty, racial injustice and discrimination. This creates sharp social divisions, meaning that many groups of people face two or three times the risk of mental ill health. Yet the same groups of people find it harder to get help for their mental health, and in some cases also get poorer outcomes when they do.
This report highlights, however, that effective action is possible. It finds that mental health is made in communities, so action for mental health equality needs to begin in neighbourhoods, localities and community groups. And it needs to include schools, colleges, workplaces and charities.