Shocking report affirms the need to tackle mental health inequalities

18 November 2015

In a critical report published today by Open Public Services Network, funded by the Cabinet Office, the extent of mental health inequalities in England have been laid bare.

The report, funded by the Cabinet Office, confirms that ‘the premature death rate among those with mental health problems was 2.4 times higher than that of the general population’.

Every area of England is affected by this problem but it was found to be “unacceptably high” in one in four areas, many of which also have high levels of deprivation. Researchers have found that around two thirds of cases were due to poor physical health. 

Dr Iris Elliott, Head of Policy and Research at the Mental Health Foundation said:

"This shocking report affirms the need to tackle mental health inequalities, and to roll out a comprehensive public mental health programme in coordination with health and social care services.

"We have recently examined the evidence for preventive measures, which has conclusively shown the clear link between physical and mental health problems. 

"Those with mental health problems are more likely to develop physical health problems, but are less likely to receive support and treatment for this element of their health. We very much hope that this is an issue that is prioritised and tackled as part of the forthcoming NHS England Mental Health Taskforce Report.

"While we recognize the importance of reforming health and social care services to tackle premature death rates among people with mental health problems, we also need to acknowledge that this is a wider issue for society. Tackling the two way relationship between poverty and deprivation will have a huge impact on this problem."