Tackling poverty and inequality will improve the mental health of Scottish society, according to a leading public health expert.
Best-selling author Professor Kate Pickett will outline how inequality creates widespread health and social problems and is a factor in increased levels of stress in the general population, at a lecture held in Glasgow at the start of Challenge Poverty Week.
The lecture, held tonight (Monday) at Glasgow Caledonian University, will draw on the main themes of her latest book, The Inner Level, which argues less-equal societies perform worse than fairer ones, across everything from education to life expectancy.
Pickett, professor of epidemiology at the University of York, is the co-author of The Spirit Level, which was chosen as one of the Top 10 Books of the Decade by the New Statesman.
Professor Pickett, who has addressed the United Nations and the EU, said: “We’ve known for some time that more unequal societies suffer from a host of social ills including higher rates of crime and poor health and that this affects the whole of society, not just those living in poverty.
“But what is less discussed is how inequality gets into our heads to affect our thoughts and feelings, our ideas of success and failure, our relationships with each other, and the stress and mental illness suffered by so many of us.
“The cross-party support for the Living Wage in Scotland and the creation of a commission to tackle inequality and poverty are two examples that show Scotland can be at the forefront of the movement to create a wellbeing economy.”