£2bn cost of mental ill health in the North of England

Hannah Davies, Health Inequalities Lead at the NHSA and report co-author, said: “Increased deprivation in the North of England has added to a decline in mental health in the North of England over the course of the pandemic.

“The reasons for this are many: increased time spent in lockdowns, the type of work people in the North do but the driving factor is poverty.

“To reverse these outcomes immediate action should be taken to provide funds to mental health suppliers proportionate to the need in those areas and measure to reduce deprivation – particularly as the cost of living crisis tightens its grip further on the most vulnerable.”

The report is backed by the NHSA’s mental health trust members: Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust.

Kathryn Singh, Chief Executive of RDaSH, said: “Our work at RDaSH is rooted in our communities and our teams have huge experience of how much impact COVID-19 has had on the mental health of those communities – the parallel pandemic. Our experience on the ground is very much borne out by the findings of report, where levels of deprivation were already high, and where the pandemic has exacerbated all the trends that were already in place.

“But I think we are in a good position to support the vital recommendations of this report, and I’m hopeful we can play our part in the innovation and vital investment needed into mental health in communities across the North, so that they can play their full part in the UK’s economy.”

Brent Kilmurray, Chief Executive of TEWV, said: “During the pandemic we saw not only an increase in demand for our services, but an increase in acuity – with people presenting to us with more severe mental health conditions.

“We provide services in some areas of very high deprivation, and we’re working with partners from all sectors across our region to find new ways to support these communities with their mental health. Community mental health transformation is hugely important and will help to provide more joined-up care, taking a person-centred approach to find new ways to support people with mental health issues.

“We know the impact that COVID-19 has had on people’s mental health and if you feel your mental health is being affected, please seek help and support as soon as possible.”

The NHSA convenes the Northern Mental Health Innovation Network, which brings together world class clinical, academic and industry experts across the North of England and showcases the North’s excellence in the field of mental health.

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