£2billion cost of mental illness in the North of England

Hannah Davies, head of health inequalities at NHSA and co-author of the report, said: “Increased deprivation in the north of England has added to a decline in mental health in the north of England during the pandemic.

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

“To reverse these outcomes, immediate action must be taken to provide funding to mental health care providers commensurate with the needs in these areas and action to reduce deprivation – particularly as the cost of living crisis further tightens its hold on the most vulnerable.”

The report is supported by NHSA Mental Health Trust members: Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust.

Kathryn Singh, Managing Director of RDASH, said: “Our work at RDASH is rooted in our communities and our teams have great experience of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the mental health of these communities – the parallel pandemic. Our experience on the ground is largely confirmed by the report’s findings, where levels of deprivation were already high and the pandemic exacerbated any trends that were already in place.

“But I think we are well placed to support the vital recommendations of this report, and I hope we can play our part in the innovation and vital investment needed for mental health in northern communities, so that can play their full part in the UK economy.

Brent Kilmurray, Managing Director of TEWV, said: “During the pandemic, we have seen not only an increase in demand for our services, but an increase in acuity – with people presenting to us with more serious mental health issues.

“We provide services in some very deprived areas and we work with partners from all sectors of our region to find new ways to support these communities with mental health. Community mental health transformation is hugely important and will help deliver more integrated care, taking a person-centred approach to finding new ways to support people with mental health issues.

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

NHSA brings together the Northern Mental Health Innovation Network, which brings together world-class clinical, academic and industry experts in the North of England and showcases Northern excellence in mental health.

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