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Some years ago the South Wales Evening Post suggested that Neath Port Talbot was one of the most unhappiest places in the country. What we know is that there is extensive poverty throughout the area.We know of unemployment at high levels, we know of lack of meaning as a result of little to do and lack of resources. All of these lead to unhappiness and in many cases poor mental health. The unhappiness that comes from these causes many to blame others, it puts pressure on relationships and friendships and it makes us prone to be angry, depressed and isolated. The truth is that while we are able individually to do something about our mental health, it remains true that mental illness is largely caused by economic and social inequality. 

In Scandinavia the wealth spectrum is more equal and there they have significantly less mental illness. The causes of mental illness have great significance for us all. Inequality effects those who suffer far more and lay down foundations for more problems in terms of crime and social disorder. For the left it is uncomfortable to see an almost biological cause and for the right it is even more uncomfortable to realise that social structure collectively contributes to these problems. A whole and healthy society is revealed by levels of happiness and mental health and Neath Port Talbot is clearly not a whole and healthy one…The answers are political and practical but i wonder judtwho will face up to these issues and who will do what is necessary,? Who will understand that mental health is simply not an individual choice but instead is a collective problem with collective solutions …The right-have no answers and the left shows some understanding of the solutions .

Until then we see dangerous risks that the collective problems we have will not go away . It’s not a question of pulling yourself together . It is more about how we empower others to find purpose and meaning. Mental health challenges us all ..but mist of all it challenges the simplistic projection defence models of the political right.