To read this content please select one of the options below:

Opportunities for reducing socioeconomic inequalities in the mental health of children and young people – reducing adversity and increasing resilience

Jillian Roberts (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Institute of Health Equity, London, UK)
Angela Donkin (UCL Institute of Health Equity, London, UK)
Michael Marmot (UCL Institute of Health Equity, London, UK)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 21 March 2016

2194

Abstract

Purpose

Poor mental health and well-being disproportionately affects vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The focus of this paper is socioeconomic inequalities in perinatal, child and adolescent mental health.

Findings

Children and young people in the poorest British households are up to three times more likely to develop mental health problems than their more advantaged peers (Green et al., 2005). The pattern can also be observed in the opposite direction, with poor mental health known to contribute to socioeconomic and other health problems (McCulloch and Goldie, 2010, Parckar, 2008). At a larger scale, the higher the level of inequality within developed countries, the higher the rate of child and adolescent mental health problems (Pickett et al., 2006).

Social implications

Mechanisms posited as underlying such inequalities include family investment and stress processes. These factors have been taken into account when developing the economic case for investing in perinatal, child and adolescent mental health.

Originality/value

Illustrative examples of progressive universal strategies and policies to help reduce socioeconomic inequalities in mental health, include: action to address the inequality gap in the UK; early intervention to improve mental health; investing in sustainable and evidence-based mental health services; ensuring parity of esteem, and; using appropriately designed social media and online sources to support children’s mental health.

Keywords

Citation

Roberts, J., Donkin, A. and Marmot, M. (2016), "Opportunities for reducing socioeconomic inequalities in the mental health of children and young people – reducing adversity and increasing resilience", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 4-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-08-2015-0039

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles