Mental health and prevention: taking local action for better mental health

Mental health and prevention: taking local action for better mental health, commissioned by Public Health England, sets out ways to tackle the rapidly growing level of mental ill health.

It sets out a road map to bring about a prevention revolution in mental health, delivered in every local area. The report helped shape Public Health England's input into the NHS Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

The evidence presented in this report should  inform the local prevention plans for mental health in every local authority area, should help make sure that these are based on sound evidence and analysis of the key data, and should support effective work in each area to drive down the incidence of mental ill health over the years to come.

The report advocates a whole population approach. This means that a local area, a school, an employer, a public service or any organisation, would look at the risks and needs of everyone before drawing up a strategy to encourage overall mental health literacy and a proportionate approach that brings in more help and attention as risk increases. Understanding and responding to different levels of risk and resilience requires services in all areas to achieve a picture of the mental health inequalities in the population they serve.

Outlining how this would work in practical terms, the report suggests that mental health improvement should be integrated into daily work, with messages and interventions tailored to address the specific circumstances of those at highest risk of developing mental health problems.

The report explores different life stages, showcasing methods to improve people’s mental health across the life-course, from infant mental health, to supporting good mental health in later life.

Read report author Isabella Goldie's blog on the report