Executive summary of recommendations by sector

Common factor

These 11 indicators have one factor common to all: poverty is the most important predeterminant and drives worse outcomes in all categories including overall suicide rates. If you as an individual, organisation or tier of government take only one action from the many suggested below, do everything you can to ‘level up’ your most deprived residents, patients and neighbours by reducing poverty.

 

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Employment and Income

  1. As part of a Poverty Reduction, or ‘Levelling Up’ strategy, increase the national minimum wage to track the independently calculated Living Wage Foundation level with tax credits and top-up for those employers who genuinely cannot afford it 
  2. Encourage ‘anchor institutions’ and social value procurement to support development of local economies
  3. Make Thriving in Work standards mandatory for large employers and encourage take up by smaller ones
  4. Make clearer expectation of employers through legislation is needed and Statutory Sick Pay should be more flexible to better support people with mental health problems to make voluntary phased returns to work where appropriate
  5. Establish an independent inquiry into deaths where it appears that the welfare benefits system may have been a significant factor, with a remit to recommend changes to policy as well as internal DWP processes where needed
  6. Improve welfare benefit advice and end five week waiting time for Universal Credit

Children and Young People 

  1. Increase funding to councils, particularly those in the most deprived areas
  2. Take action to introduce a Whole School Anti-Bullying Approach in every school
  3. Reduce child poverty
  4. Encourage schools to focus on anti-bullying preventative practices

Mental Health and Substance Misuse (MHSM)

  1. Ensure availability of excellent mental health liaison services in acute hospitals and community setting
  2. Publish an Alcohol Strategy which should be based on the Alcohol Charter
  3. Deepen integration of local authority and health services to provide holistic support
  4. Reverse cuts to substance misuse services, increase grant and hypothecate spending on addictions

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Employment and Income

  1. Get Living Wage Accredited 
  2. Lead ‘anchor institutions’ and social value procurement to support development of local economies
  3. Adopt Thriving at Work standard
  4. Get Living Hours accredited
  5. Support workplace mental health for others by ensuring support is accessible, high quality and fits around work
  6. Ensure patients and carers have access to high quality welfare benefit advice 

Mental Health and Substance Misuse (MHSM)

  1. Ensure availability of excellent mental health liaison services in acute hospitals and community setting
  2. Deepen integration of local authority and health services to provide holistic support
  3. Support the rapid introduction of social prescribing

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Employment and Income

  1. Get Living Wage Accredited and encourage others in your area to do so
  2. Lead ‘anchor institutions’ and social value procurement to support development of local economies
  3. Adopt Thriving at Work standards
  4. Get Living Hours accredited
  5. Adopt Citizens Advice Bureau recommended eight actions [i] for local authorities regarding welfare advice

 

Children and Young People

  1. Seek UNICEF Child Friendly Community status
  2. Adopt Contextual Safeguarding of children
  3. Ensure you are commissioning NICE guideline compliant sexual health services and ensure family planning provision reaches the most vulnerable like those in care, care leavers and people with substance misuse, mental ill health and domestic violence vulnerabilities.
  4. Ensure excellent health visiting, sure start and school nursing services
  5. Adopt the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) ‘five priorities’ for looked after children
  6. Take action to introduce a Whole School Anti-Bullying Approach in every school
  7. Encourage schools to focus on anti-bullying preventative practices

 

Mental Health and Substance Misuse (MHSM)

  1. Ensure rigorous population approach in your Health and Wellbeing Board’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) JSNAs and Public Sector Equalities Duty report on all main providers
  2. Ensure recognises and prioritises mental health and substance misuse need and uses it to drive evidence-based prevention and treatment.
  3. Ensure availability of excellent mental health liaison services in acute hospitals and community settings
  4. Develop and deliver your own local alcohol strategy focused on licensing conditions
  5. Introduce local Minimum Unit Pricing
  6. Deepen integration of local authority and health services to provide holistic support
  7. Support the rapid introduction of social prescribing
  8. Invest in, lobby for and commission excellent substance misuse services