Our Mental Health Message to the Next London Mayor
The mayoral race is almost over and Londoners cast their vote on the 5th of May. The new mayor will have responsibilities related to health, housing and transport in the capital. Our message to the new mayor: ignoring mental health is just not an option – it needs to be a priority!
We encourage the next mayor not just to look at mental health in isolation - but to make it a priority in all areas; to consider what impact housing, transport, employment and other policies will have on the mental health of Londoners.
So why is mental health especially important in the capital?
Two million Londoners will experience some form of mental ill health every year; including depression, anxiety, bipolar or an eating disorder. London also has significantly higher rates of schizophrenia than the rest of the UK.
The Mayor works to reduce the level of health inequalities in London and to promote improvements in Londoners’ health and wellbeing
From the London Elects website.
Consistently, Londoners rate themselves poorly compared to the rest of the country when it comes to mental health. In surveys, London has the highest national percentage of those who claim to be ‘very mentally unhealthy’.
Londoners are also more likely than residents in other parts of the UK to suffer mental health problems as a result of unemployment or debt. This has an impact on productivity and mental ill-health costs the London economy £26 billion a year.
So we hope the next mayor builds on the great initiatives that are going on, invests in more, and considers the impact on mental health that all his or her policies will have.