Disability cycle across generations.

 

What do you think:

 Evidence that poverty breeds mental ill-health.

  • Correlation between poverty/low income and poor mental health amongst children.
  • Are health services sufficiently targeted to reduce the disabling effect of poverty?

A recent report suggests that: “The prevalence of severe mental health problems in children is strongly related to parental education, parental occupation and family income. For example, 17% of 11-yearolds from families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution were identified as having severe mental health problems in 2012, compared with only 4% among those from families in the top fifth.”     Although the causal links are not yet fully identified, this all suggests that the links between poverty and disability might be self-perpetuating from one generation to another.

Disabled people are more likely to be in that bottom fifth of the income distribution as they are less likely to be working/more dependent on benefits and, if they do work, are more likely to be in low-paid, part-time and short-term jobs.  Now it seems that mental health conditions will be more prevalent amongst their children – and there are doubtless other factors linked with low income that will be impacting on other aspects of those children’s future health prospects.

All of this reinforces the need for both health and employment support services to be better targeted at areas of high deprivation.

Penny Melville-Brown

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

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