Health Inequalities in Mental Health

Health inequalities are avoidable and unfair differences in health status and determinants between groups of people due to demographic, socioeconomic, geographical and other factors.

Reducing Inequalities in Mental Illness focuses on some of the actions that local areas can take to reduce health inequalities experienced by people living with mental illness, so that they achieve the same health outcomes and life expectancy as the rest of the population.

Addressing health inequalities – including in mental health – is a statutory duty for PHE


Using Fingertips to assess inequalities

How to assess inequalities in Fingertips

A new domain ‘Exploring Inequality’ has been added to this profile.  

You will see a list of metrics in the domain – each of these can be further broken down by characteristics that help assess inequalities. You need to use the Inequalities function on the toolbar to view the breakdown.


Once in the inequalities tab you will see a list of available of characteristics on the right hand side  by which the data can be broken down. 

What type of inequalities can be assessed?

Inequality data is presented at national level, and by local government and healthcare geographies.

The metrics can be broken down by some of the protected characteristic groups such as ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age and gender. The aim is to include all protected characteristics and other vulnerable groups as soon as possible.

These metrics can be viewed by deprivation decile using the Index of Multiple Deprivation measure.

Metrics can also be viewed by ‘problem descriptor’ (a proxy for diagnosis). These measures are included to enable assessment of equality in the effectiveness of treatment.

Useful resources

Health Inequalities Menu of Interventions and Approaches

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Toolkit

Wider Determinants of Health

Place-based approaches to reduce inequalities

Inequality Tools

Advancing Mental Health Equality