Advice for behavioural scientists

Traditionally the work of public health and mental health professionals has been regarded as separate but thankfully this is fast becoming an outdated perspective. Health behaviours such as smoking, alcohol use, physical activity and diet choice are inextricably linked to mental health status. We also know that physical and mental health problems are highly interrelated. We need to consider mental health in terms of a public health focus on prevention - at a population and individual level.

We need public health experts who engage, support and direct research in preventing mental health problems and promoting mental well-being in all sectors of society. Behavioural scientists and public health experts can improve our understanding of the drivers of mental health problems and the appropriate responses in different population sub-groups. Mental health treatment and care is important and so is the prevention of avoidable mental health problems - afterall 'a stitch in time...can save nine'.


  1. Our focus on preventing mental health problems from early life
  2. Societal drivers of mental ill-health and co-morbidity are highly relevant
  3. We consider mental health problems in a context of family life and social networks
  4. We see mental health treatment and care as social activity between patients and practitioners
  5. Our work supports the development of non-pharmacological intervention



“One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role as a health economist working in mental health research is getting together with experts from a variety of areas, from psychiatrists to statisticians, all of whom are pulling in the same direction, as this leads to the most meaningful discussions and the most insightful research.”

– Jack Pollard, Health Economist

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