By Sophie Coles

The continuing fallout from the pandemic and increasing levels of social inequality are having an enormous impact on the nation’s mental health. Record numbers of people are seeking help from health services to address their mental health challenges. However, given the shortage of both funds and qualified mental health professionals, there is a huge shortfall in the amount of assistance the NHS and Social Work services can provide. Demand simply outstrips supply and is growing astronomically.

The mental health of some groups of people has been more affected by the pandemic than others and they are often those being the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis too. These include younger workers, women, especially those with caring responsibilities, and people who have a pre-existing mental health condition. The mental health challenges experienced by these people have far-reaching knock-on effects on the country’s economy.

The cost of mental health problems

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) has published research that shows that as many as one in four workers feel that worrying about finances affects their ability to carry out their job. In their report released last March,The economic case for investing in the prevention of mental health conditions in the UK’ London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Mental Health Foundation stated that mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £117.9 billion annually, or the equivalent to around 5% of the UK’s GDP.

To address this crisis, prevention programmes are imperative. It is estimated that preventative activities can give a direct return on investment of £5-6 for every £1 spent. Reactive support is more expensive and is often too late to be of use. Sadly, so often, prevention is not prioritised due to the constant fire-fighting nature of mental health services. Reactive support is more expensive and is often too late to be really helpful.

Impact of poor education, lack of employment and poor housing conditions on mental health

Here at C.Co, we believe that until mental health is prioritised to be on a par with physical health, the crisis will continue to grow. The NHS and social services need to enable and promote action wider than their services alone. The public sector must truly recognise the scale of the impacts of poor education, lack of employment and poor housing conditions on people’s mental health.

C.Co recognises that there is a requirement for councils to radically change the way they deliver services – to satisfy both the financial challenge and the moral need to do the right thing by our citizens.​  Prevention and early intervention are absolutely fundamental prerequisites.  C.Co works collaboratively with you, providing you with trusted capability and capacity to assess and evaluate where to target your resources.

There are myriad ways in which our skilled and experienced team can help your organisation withstand financial pressure, increase sustainability and address unmet need. Talk to us to find out more.