Public Health England have today published their strategy outlining their priorities where they will focus their efforts to improve the public’s health and reduce health inequalities over the coming five years.
Welcoming the strategy, Chief Executive Kathy Roberts commented:
“We are pleased to see the publication of the PHE Strategy today which makes improving mental health one of ten priority areas and aims to work towards ensuring it has parity with physical health. Aims outlined in the strategy include the reduced development and exacerbation of mental ill health, reducing inequalities in premature mortality for people with long term and severe mental illness, and improved social connections, housing, and employment prospects.
The social, physical, and economic environments in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age all have an impact on mental health and wellbeing and we are pleased to see that the strategy recognises the wider determinants and the inequalities that exist, and will work to ensure communities that are at the most disadvantage whether it be due to their race, religion, gender, or economic status, are offered the dedicated support and care needed.
Mental health has a strong influence on other health and social outcomes so we are also pleased to see two other PHE priorities that greatly impact people with mental health needs, a smoke-free society and healthier diets, healthier weight, which will be a key focus for our organisation over the coming year through our work in the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance. It has been identified that those living with serious mental illness have a higher risk of obesity and are those for whom services are often less accessible. Also, smoking prevalence among people with a mental health condition is higher than the average rate in the general population and despite evidence demonstrating people with mental illness have an equal desire to stop smoking compared to those who do not there is still significant levels of smoking prevalence in this population.
We are pleased to see PHE’s continued commitment to work with partners including the voluntary and community sector, especially to extend the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health, which we coproduced and were one of the first signatories. As the largest provider of mental health services, the VCSE sector has a vital role through its integrated approaches to whole-system and whole-sector in the planning and delivery of services.”
The full document, along with other resources, can be read here.
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