Mental health equality in Great Britain

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.

Key findings

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


  • 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

Deaths by suicide




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).