Austerity and inequality fuelling mental illness, says top UN envoy

Exclusive: Special rapporteur on health says social justice more important for mental health than therapy and medication

Austerity, inequality and job insecurity are bad for mental health and governments should counteract them if they want to face up to the rising prevalence of mental illness, the UN’s top health envoy has said.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian to coincide with a hard-hitting report to be delivered to the UN in Geneva on Monday, Dr Dainius Pūras said measures to address inequality and discrimination would be far more effective in combatting mental illness than the emphasis over the past 30 years on medication and therapy.

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