Mental health provision across the life course is important to improve the quality of people’s lives and protect physical health. One in six adults will have had a common mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression, in the last week and an estimated 551,000 people in England are currently living with severe mental illness, such as psychosis or bipolar disorder. Studies in the UK and elsewhere indicate that people living with these severe mental health problems may die up to 20 years younger than the general population. Poor mental health is also closely associated with many forms of inequalities, including poverty, unemployment, homelessness, incarceration, and social isolation.
Early childhood intervention, education, stable housing and employment are all factors that contribute to someone being able to maintain good mental health, therefore local authorities are well placed to implement preventative mental health interventions and develop an integrated response across a number of services.
London boroughs have led, or delivered in partnership, or engaged with a number of successful mental health interventions across a range of settings, including schools, workplaces, and physical health services, to embed mental health support within the wider environment. Existing programmes in London include: