UK mental health commission urges a local focus
The UK's Commission for Equality in Mental Health has highlighted 'stark' mental health inequalities which mirror wider socio-economic ones, meaning that people in disadvantaged groups are at two or three times higher risk of mental ill health. It has called for 'concerted action' from duty bearers at all levels to improve people's access to health care and ensure that it benefits everyone equally, particularly emphasising a local and community focus.
Belfast efforts for mental health
Belfast City Council considered a motion brought by two councillors recognising the mental health impacts of the pandemic and agreeing an 'awareness and support poster campaign'. The motion, which also including a commitment to discuss a community emergency response system with health officials, was considered in committee and passed unanimously.
Meanwhile, the FightBackNI campaign launched to help people look after their mental health during the pandemic here.
Mental ill health exacerbated by practices in the welfare system
A recent study of people with mental ill health's experience of the UK welfare and benefit system found that the work capability assessments -- far from helping people get the supports they need -- fail to recognise or even exacerbate applicants' mental health problems. Survey results indicate the harm caused to applicants by a "lack of trust, empathy and understanding" of the impact of their mental health on their ability to work. Reporting elsewhere documented individual people's stories that reinforced the findings.