Skip to main content

Moving forward with the prevention of mental health problems

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Mental health

When the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health was published last year, it signalled that a step change was needed to prevent mental health problems. A quarter of all responses to the consultation highlighted the importance of prevention alongside improving care and treatment services.

For the first time, agencies have come together to make prevention a priority for mental health.

Over the last year, the drive for prevention has been led by Public Health England with national and local partners.

This has also helped place the spotlight on the need to reduce inequalities, address the wider social determinants and strengthen the ways we promote good mental health for people and communities.

Today we see the culmination of this partnership work with a set of key resources to help local areas take further significant steps towards the promotion of good mental health and the prevention of mental health problems.

This work, in concert with work to improve care and treatment will help lead to improvements in mental health across England.

This joined up approach, across the NHS, social care, public health and with voluntary and community services partners is paramount to making the much needed improvements to mental health care, promotion and prevention.

These evidence based resources we have published set out the case for collective action over five key areas of work:

  • Assessing needs and assets
  • Building partnerships
  • Delivering commitments
  • Defining success
  • Leading for prevention

The aim is that local action can be taken to mark a turning point in moving towards a more prevention focussed approach to mental health, and in seeing mental health as being important as our physical health. The two are inextricably linked.

A statement of intent is set out in the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health which supports this goal and key agencies including the Local Government Association, NICE, the Faculty of Public Health and Association of Directors of Public Health have already signed up and we encourage others to follow suit.

Some of the resources published include:

Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health

This is a prevention planning resource to support local areas across England put in place effective arrangements to promote good mental health and prevent mental health problems. You can also see our infographic offering an overview of this.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Toolkit

This Knowledge Guide complements the Mental Health Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Online Profile, designed to support local Health & Wellbeing Boards in developing Mental Health JSNAs. It brings together nationally available data on mental health prevalence, risk and protective factors and healthcare services

Commissioning Cost-Effective Services for Promotion of Mental Health and Wellbeing and Prevention of Mental Health Problems

This document summarises the findings of modelling work to estimate the cost of investing in several different interventions, for which there is evidence that they can help reduce the risk and/or incidence of mental health problems in individuals of different ages and/or promote good mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Promotion Return on Investment Tool and Tool Guide

This reports the Return on Investment to health and other sectors from investment in eight different interventions. Results can be tailored to local settings and the guide provides users with step-by-step instructions and guidance on how to use the Mental Health Promotion Return on Investment Tool.

Psychosocial Pathways and Health Outcomes: Informing action on health inequalities

Here you’ll find a conceptual framework that describes how mental wellbeing influences our physical health.  This includes evidence on how wider social conditions influence factors such as stress, control, social relationships and social capital and how these directly and indirectly influence health.

I believe strongly that promoting and maintaining good mental health is something for all of us.

Helping to take action to prevent mental health problems and support others is key to everyday life.

We can all help make a difference and work in ways that reduce the stigma still attached to mental illness, improve the health and lives of those living with and recovering from mental health challenges and take action where we live, learn, work and play to improve our mental health, now and for the future of our families, colleagues, friends and neighbours.

We hope that these resources will provide information, support and guidance  for those who will be working on local action plans. Please do read our concordat statement, which I think sums up exactly why this work is necessary and why now more than ever, mental health must be at the forefront of all our agendas.

Are you interested in mental health? Why not read more PHE blogs on this topic?

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by JohnC posted on

    great to see the solid cost cases. interesting that the beneficiaries are largely not those doing the programmes (are largely actually the NHS); i.e. NHS should be paying schools for running these programmes - that's a real challenge for politicians/leaders, to get that cross-silo transfer going. some say social bonds?...

  2. Comment by A reader posted on

    "Please do read our concordat statement, which I think sums up exactly why this work is necessary and why now more than ever, mental health must be at the forefront of all our agendas."; so what % of your workforce do you have working on it?

  3. Comment by Stella Kelly posted on

    Body and Mind has a close relation to each other. If mind is not much healthy the physical health can't be achieved and the vice versa is applicable accordingly. The world has been up on the basis of physical health but the maximum living territory of this planet is still regressive on the matter of various mental issues. It must be on the process of development not only in the developed cities but throughout the world.
    the following website can help you to know more on this aspect