To improve mental health and addiction outcomes, we must address the wider social determinants that influence not just mental health, but wider social wellbeing. This is a long-term project but must start now.
Despite the substantial benefits of focusing on prevention and promoting wellbeing, it has been difficult to shift resources to those activities. Multiple agencies are engaged in activities that target similar outcomes.
We need a more concerted and organised approach to our investment in social wellbeing, promotion and prevention. A clear locus of responsibility for social wellbeing should be established within government.
As with social wellbeing, mental health and addiction promotion and prevention activities are dispersed and delivered by many organisations. Some programmes may not be sound and fit for purpose. The new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission should develop an investment and quality assurance strategy for mental health promotion and prevention.