Mental Health

Our aims

  • Improve access to services and cut waiting times for treatment
  • Treat mental and physical health needs as one
  • Address the wider determinants on mental health, e.g. housing and employment

Mental health services in east London are among the best in England, but they face tough challenges ahead.

The area’s growing population is placing unprecedented demands on services, with higher numbers of people needing mental health support.

One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives. Whether it is a concern about a job, financial problems, a relationship, bereavement or the pace and pressures of modern life, it can happen to any of us.

  • People with a serious mental health illness die on average 15 years younger than the rest of the population.
  • Physical and mental health issues are intrinsically linked – 30 per cent of people with a long-term condition have a mental health problem and 46 per cent of people with a mental health problem have a long term condition.
  • Mental health service users in east London are two to three times more likely to die of cancer, circulatory or respiratory disease than the rest of the population.
  • 50 per cent of lifetime mental health conditions are first experienced by the age of 14, 75 per cent by the age of 24.
  • 60 per cent of people in contact with secondary care mental health services are not in employment.
  • 47 per cent of people with serious mental illness smoke compared to 20 per cent of the wider population.
  • 30 per cent of people with serious mental illness are obese compared to 10 per cent of the general population.

Many people with mental health problems have to rely on emergency departments (A&E) for help.

  • People with mental health problems in east London attend A&E nearly three times as often as others. They are also three times more likely to be admitted to hospital in emergencies than others.
  • More than 20 per cent of all emergency admissions in east London can be attributed to mental health service users, who only make up seven per cent of the overall population.

No one should experience mental illness without the right support. But with more and more people needing it, and only so many resources available, we will have to change the way our mental health services are delivered.

We are making the provision of sustainable mental health services across east London one of our top priorities, but believe we can go further.

Working in partnership, bringing the NHS and councils together, our ambition is to:

  • Develop new models of care that address mental and physical health and social care needs as one.
  • Provide good service user education to reduce stigma and promote resilience.
  • Help people with more serious mental health problems to find and remain in employment – a key factor in their recovery.

We also want to find the right place for people to live, with the right support close by – essential in helping them get well. Creating opportunities and providing good quality care in the community, including specialist services, is an underlying aim of the East London Health & Care Partnership. It is part and parcel of helping people live happy and independent lives, and nowhere is this more important than in mental health.

See our Better Care and Wellbeing in East London booklet to find out what we are doing to achieve our aims, what it means for local people and what you can do.