Today, the Equality and Human Rights Commission published a pre-publication draft of their report ‘Is Britain Fairer’ – a review on the state of equality and human rights in Britain. The current blog post will focus on the mental health sub-theme.
Mental health and wellbeing
- Across England, Wales and Scotland, women reported poorer mental health and wellbeing compared to men, disabled people reported poorer mental health wellbeing compared to non-disabled individuals, and those that identified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (LGBT) reported poorer mental health and wellbeing compared to those that identified as heterosexual (for LGBT – England only).
- People who experience homelessness are more likely to have mental health conditions, compared to the general population.
- There are no official/robust figures for the number or prevalence of people in prison who have a mental health condition in England, Wales or Scotland.
Access and quality of services/therapies
- Many people with mental health conditions do not have access to appropriate specialist care (e.g, access to perinatal services across Britain is poor – 40% have no access).
- There is under-representation in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme in England from ethnic minorities and older people.
- The experience of individual inpatient care is currently not measured.
- Mental health provision for those in immigration detention is variable – from excellent in Scotland (e.g., Dungavel) to significant barriers reported in England and Wales.
Looked after children
- In England, just under half (45%) of looked after children have a diagnosed mental health condition. Moreover, in Wales and Scotland, looked after children are at greater risk of experiencing poor mental health than children who have not been in care.
Deaths by suicide
- 28% of all deaths by suicide in the UK were of individuals who had been in contact with mental health services 12 months prior.
- In 2016/17 and in England, ethnic minorities (e.g., Black or Black British) were more likely (three times more) to have experienced restrictive interventions , compared with White British individuals.
- Black or Black British groups were four times more likely to be detained under mental health legislation, compared to those who identified as White (in 2016/17).
The Governments of England, Wales and Scotland have highlighted their commitment to establishing a parity of esteem between physical and mental health, and have implemented policies which represent steps towards this.
However, further work (including collection of reliable data collection and evaluation) needs to be conducted to ensure that all individuals, including those under protected characteristics (e.g., sexual orientation, ethnicity etc.) can access specialist treatment. Moreover, that the healthcare experiences of those under protected characteristics improves, as well as their mental health outcomes.
The full ‘Is Britain Fairer’ report can be accessed here, whilst the executive summary (shortened, concise version) can be accessed here. The report has been published in pre-publication form, and will be finalised following presentation to Parliament.
Blog post written by Dr Rachel Moss (Twitter: @DrRMoss), Research Associate on the PGR Wellbeing project at the University of Portsmouth (School of Education and Sociology).