Mental health, poverty and social exclusion

Sarah Payne

This conceptual note explores the complex relationship between poverty and social exclusion and mental health problems in terms of how we might measure poor mental health, and in how we might assess the direction of causality: does poverty, or social exclusion, cause poor mental health, or does poor mental health lead to poverty and social exclusion? The PSE research has used the well-validated instrument, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) 12, widely used to indicate presence or absence of symptoms of what are often described as ‘common mental disorders’, which will enable comparison with findings from other research in the UK and elsewhere.

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