We are releasing a set of three briefings focussing on precarity, access, and mental health. They are the result of a two-year process of consultation with grassroots and user-led groups in London, discussing the barriers faced by those who live with mental-ill health, distress, or trauma. Collectively, the briefings highlight the need to consider mental healthcare far beyond medical interventions; and instead call us to reimagine the material — including the systems and structures that create and exacerbate distress in the first place.
Read together, we show how the marginalisation of the so-called “mentally ill” extends beyond stigma or an inability to “talk”. Instead, it is woven into the structures of our society. Taking a wider view of mental health sometimes involves flashy new interventions, and others times, the solution is very simple, boring, even. Here we highlight the need for better funding for grassroots groups in the context of the cost of living crisis, accessible and affordable transport, and more transparent systems for managing welfare claims. They may not seem exciting, but each are valid and necessary forms of mental health care, which would improve the lives of so many.