Health inequalities: Mental health

Explore case studies from councils and how the pandemic has impacted people's mental health. This work informs part of the health inequalities hub, which is funded by UK Government.

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Globally, from March 2020 there was a gradual increase in the prevalence of mental health difficulties, primarily anxiety and depression. For many people, uncertainty caused by the virus, together with lockdown measures exacerbated these difficulties, while other problems such as loneliness, boredom, anxiety about income and jobs increased.

Questions to consider for councillors on mental health

1. Do you know the mental health profile of your community, including the numbers of children, young people and adults, women and men and members of minority groups experiencing mental health problems? Are there any groups experiencing particularly poor mental health to which you want to direct resources?

2. What is your council and your public health team and children’s services doing to promote the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, especially those looked after by the council? Do you understand and monitor the work of your local child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) teams?

 3. What is the council doing to support people with mental health problems to find and retain work? What is it doing as a large employer itself and how is it working with other local employers on this issue?

 4. What is the council doing to support vulnerable people in general and people with mental health problems in particular who are in financial difficulty? For example, is it working with the local NHS to commission welfare benefits advice and support services to enable people to get the welfare benefits they are entitled to?

 5. What is the council doing to support and reduce numbers of people misusing drugs and alcohol? Does this include working with voluntary sector organisations, integrating health with your housing and homelessness strategies and provision for ex-offenders?

Explore case studies from councils which showcase the best examples of working together to help their resident's mental health and wellbeing and how COVID-19 impacted people's mental health.