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Mental health, resilience and inequalities

This report aims to demonstrate how poor mental health is a significant cause of wider social and health problems, including: low levels of educational achievement and work productivity; higher levels of physical disease and mortality; violence, relationship breakdown and poor community cohesion. In contrast, good mental health leads to better physical health, healthier lifestyles, improved productivity and educational attainment and lower levels of crime and violence.

The report draws together international research across a range of disciplines and highlights the importance of polices and programmes to support improved mental health for the whole population. Possible policy interventions are suggested in the areas of: supporting family life; education to better equip children economically and emotionally; employment opportunities and conditions that promote good mental health; partnership between health and other sectors to address problems that can lead to mental health problems; and reducing barriers to social contact.

Lynne Friedli
World Health Organization