Minds matter – the cost of mental ill health

09 July 2015

Mental ill health is a bigger issue in London than elsewhere in the country.[1]

£26 billion is lost from London’s economy each year as a result of mental ill health through reduced productivity.[2]

People of African or Caribbean descent are over-represented at each level in the psychiatric process – they are more likely to be treated as in-patients and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.[3]

The London Assembly Health Committee report ‘Healthy minds, healthy Londoners’ [4] is calling for early intervention and prevention, particularly among young people and those from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) background.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee, said;

“Mental health needs to be as much of a priority as physical health and should not be dealt with just at the crisis stage. Treating mental health early on is absolutely vital. We must focus on prevention and early intervention amongst young people and particular groups where mental ill health is more prevalent. We need to ensure young people are given the best possible chances of succeeding. The impact of mental ill health is huge – it doesn’t just affect the individual, their family and friends, it also has huge economic implications. We need to integrate more services and support when it comes to health, education, social care and housing.”

The report includes a number of recommendations, including:

The Mayor should set out what steps he or a future Mayor could take to promote good mental health in London, particularly among young people and BME groups.

There is no reliable data on the demand for mental health services in London particularly regarding children and young people. The Department of Health should commission and set out a timetable for a national mental health survey of children and young people.

NHS England London should work with London boroughs and Clinical Commissioning Groups to shift focus to early intervention and prevention when commissioning mental health services and support.


Notes for Editors:

London Mental Health, January 2014, Greater London Authority.

Personal Wellbeing in the UK, 2013/14, Office for National Statistics.

Written submissions from the Lambeth Black Health and Wellbeing Commission, Mental Health Foundation and Mind.

Read the report ‘Healthy minds, healthy Londoners’ (attached).

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.

London Assembly Health Committee.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Ash Singleton on 020 7983 5769. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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