Our response to health secretary's prevention vision

In response to health secretary Matt Hancock's commitment to put prevention at the heart of the NHS long-term plan, Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said:

"We welcome the secretary of state's progressive commitment to prevention and fully support a cross-government approach. We know that for every £1 spent on prevention of mental ill-health, the long-term return could be 16 times greater and is associated with many wider positive impacts on education, productivity and physical health.

"Our evidence shows that nearly two in three of us will develop a mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, in our lifetimes. For prevention to work, it must start with early intervention for our children, especially those exposed to adverse childhood experiences, and action to reduce inequality which hugely increases the risk of mental ill-health.

"The 4% year on year cuts to public health teams in local authorities threatens to undermine this prevention strategy for the communities that need it the most, before it even gets started. The evidence shows that prevention efforts work with a joined-up approach and now is the time to show this can be done."

The Mental Health Foundation has been changing society's understanding of mental health for 70 years. Today we are publishing our response to the value of this window of opportunity on the British Medical Journal opinion site.

More information

Please contact: