Policy and advocacy in England

Mental health problems are common across the UK. But this doesn't need to be the case, as many mental health problems can be prevented.

Our policy and advocacy work calls on national and local government to reduce the factors known to pose a risk to people’s mental health, enhance those known to protect it and create the conditions needed for people to thrive. We want all parts of government and our society to recognise their role in preventing poor mental health and working together to address its root causes. This means that we also work with many other organisations and individuals to help achieve our advocacy objectives.

Within the Mental Health Foundation, we work with our Research and Programmes teams to find out what approaches work to prevent mental health problems. Our research increases our understanding of the causes of mental health problems and what can be done to prevent them. Our programmes test new approaches to improving people’s mental health in our communities, working especially with groups who are most at risk of developing mental health problems. The work of these teams, combined with other evidence and our wider collaborations, help us to create evidence-based calls for change.

Featured reports

Mental Health and Well-being Plan Consultation

In July 2022, we responded to a government consultation on their vision for a new, ten-year mental health and well-being plan.

Read consultation

General Election manifesto 2019

Our manifesto presents five actions the next UK government can take to work towards better mental health for all.

Read the manifesto

Uncertain times: Anxiety in the UK and how to tackle it

For Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, we published this report to look at the prevalence and rates of anxiety amongst different groups of people, consider the main ways of coping with anxiety and provide recommendations to governments across the UK for preventing anxiety.

Read the report

Mental health and the cost-of-living crisis report: another pandemic in the making?

Our report gives an overview of the current and likely effects the cost-of-living crisis has on people’s mental health. We cannot ignore the potentially devastating impact the cost-of-living crisis has on mental health.

Read the report

The economic case for investing in the prevention of mental health conditions in the UK

Our new report with the London School of Economics and Political Science provides evidence from the UK and around the world that proves prevention interventions work.

Read the report

Loneliness policy briefing

Human beings are social creatures. For the great majority of us, social connection and belonging are central to our well-being. But, when the quality or quantity of our social relationships does not meet our needs or expectations, we can start to feel lonely.

Read the briefing

Zero-hours contracts and mental health

We know that poorly paid and insecure work is linked to poor mental well-being, but there is limited research on the specific mental health effects of a zero-hours contract. Learn more in our report and policy briefing on the impacts zero-hours contracts have on mental health.

Read the report

Surviving or Thriving? The state of the UK's mental health

This 2017 report aimed to understand the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems, levels of positive and negative mental health in the population, and the actions people take to deal with the stressors in their lives.

Read the report

Better mental health for all: A public health approach to mental health improvement

In this report, we examine what can be done individually and collectively to enhance the mental health of individuals, families and communities by using a public health approach and look to support the development of knowledge and skills in public mental health.

Read the report

Poverty and mental health

This paper presents a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between poverty and mental health and offers recommendations to improve the situation across the life course.

Read the report

Our policy work

Mental Health Policy Group (MHPG)

The England Policy Team is part of the Mental Health Policy Group. MHPG is an informal coalition of six national organisations working together to improve mental health through policy influencing activities at the national level.

Winston Churchill Memorial Trust: Mental Health Fellowships

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) funded individuals to travel abroad to learn more about how community-based solutions are being created in response to some of today’s most pressing mental health challenges.

If you want to find out more about our policy and advocacy work or are interested in working with us, you can contact the Policy team directly below.
Email the Policy team
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