Jo Bibby, Director of Health at the Health Foundation:
‘With life expectancy stalling and health inequalities widening, it is time that our nation’s health is treated as an asset to be maintained and improved over the lifetime. Today’s OECD report, which outlines the estimated cost of mental health problems to the UK at 4.1% of GDP, highlights the importance of good health to the UK’s prosperity.
‘While older people are more likely to experience mental health problems, such problems are also a growing issue among younger people. It is important that strategies to improve health, including mental health, take a life course approach starting from the early years, the transition into adulthood and right through to older ages. There are also stark inequalities with the poorest fifth in the UK almost three times as likely to report a mental health problem as the richest fifth and the underlying causes of health including poverty must be addressed to tackle this.’
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