Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems

Introduction

We all have mental health and we can all experience mental health problems, whatever our background or walk of life. But the risks of mental ill-health are not equally distributed.

The likelihood of our developing a mental health problem is influenced by our biology, and by the circumstances in which we are born, grow, live and age.

Those who face the greatest disadvantages in life also face the greatest risks to their mental health.

Graphic of some flowers in a white circle

This unequal distribution of risk to our mental health is what we call mental health inequalities.

This report describes the extent of inequalities that contribute to poor mental health in the UK today. It explains how certain circumstances interact with our individual risk and discusses communities that are facing vulnerabilities.