Social Exclusion and Mental Health: Review of Literature and Existing Surveys

Sarah Payne

Mental health problems can impact on social exclusion as a result of lack of financial resources and because of the effects of illness, including low self-esteem, loss of social contacts due to hospitalisation or the impact of illness on sociability, or the stigma experienced by many of those affected by mental illness. However, poverty and social exclusion are also likely to lead to an increased risk of mental health difficulties, such as the result of stress or managing on a low income, living circumstances, local environment, discrimination and decreased opportunities for positive self-esteem. In this survey the primary approach will be to use a well-validated instrument, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) 12 to indicate the presence or absence of symptoms of what are often described as ‘common mental disorders (CMDs)’.