Delivering national public mental health – experience from England

Ian F. Walker, Jude Stansfield, Liliosa Makurah, Helen Garnham, Claire Robson, Cameron Lugton, Nancy Hey, Gregor Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Mental health is an emerging health policy priority globally. The emphasis on closing the treatment gap in psychiatric services is now being complemented by an increasing focus on prevention and health promotion. The purpose of this paper is to describe the programmes and delivery of public mental health in England led by Public Health England (PHE), an arms-length body of the Department of Health and Social Care. Design/methodology/approach: This technical paper outlines the general approach PHE has taken in delivering national work in public mental health and describes several key areas of work: children and young people, suicide prevention, workplace and workforce, strategic engagement with stakeholders, data and information and evidence synthesis. Findings: A description of the various programmes and guidance documents that PHE have produced are described and referenced, which form a substantial body of work in public mental health. Practical implications: The outputs from PHE may assist in informing the approach to public mental health that other government agencies could consider adopting. The resources described and signposted within this technical paper are publicly available for readers. Originality/value: England is one of a small group of countries that have a track record in delivering public mental health at a national level. This paper gives a unique and detailed insight into this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-123
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Public Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2019


  • Government
  • Mental health
  • Policy
  • Prevention
  • Public health
  • Public mental health
  • Suicide prevention
  • Wellbeing


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