John McGowan, Anne Cooke, Angela Gilchrist and Rachel Terry discuss the effects of poverty and inequality on happiness and mental health.

In this discussion we focus on two reports. The first is forthcoming book from a London School of Economics group, involving Lord Richard Layard, and titled ‘The Origins of Happiness’. Even though this hasn’t yet been released, it has prompted a great deal of debate: especially with the conclusion that poverty and inequality may be less important than good mental health for human happiness. The second document is a major report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and written by the Mental Health Foundation’s Iris Elliot. This offers what may be a less surprising conclusion: that poverty and inequality are intimately bound up in the development of mental health problems. Links to the reports and other pieces related to the discussion are listed below.

A transcript of this discussion can be found here.

 

The best way follow the podcast is to subscribe to our feed. You can do this by looking up Discussions in Tunbridge Wells in iTunes, SoundCloud or wherever else you get your podcasts from. Or you can paste the following link into your podcatcher of choice http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:56544633/sounds.rss

We also put the podcasts and links to what we’ve discussed on our main site blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/discursive/.

 As well as that you can follow us on Twitter @CCCUApppsy and on Facebook if you search for Canterbury Christ Church University Applied Psychology. You can follow Angela on Twitter @cyberwhispers, Anne @AnneCooke14 and Rachel @rterrypsy.

Links to things we talked about in this weeks show:

While the book by the LSE group has not been published yet we obtained an advance (though draft) copy by contacting them via the following link.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/news/archives/2016/12/Relationships-and-happiness.aspx

 

The work of the LSE group has also prompted some news paper coverage and letters already including two pieces in the Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/12/happiness-depends-on-health-and-friends-not-money-says-new-study

 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2016/dec/13/mental-illness-and-poverty-you-cant-tackle-one-without-the-other

 

Also there have been a couple of multi-signatory letters: one in the Guardian and the other in the Independent.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/dec/13/looking-for-happiness-in-life-and-at-work

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/aleppo-west-cannot-take-responsibility-brexit-education-theresa-may-leather-trousers-letters-a7477191.html

 

There has also been a response from the network ‘Psychologists Against Austerity’.

https://psychagainstausterity.wordpress.com/our-campaigns/origins-of-happiness-paa-response/

 

A link to the main Joseph Rowntree Foundation report (published earlier this year) can be found here.

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/poverty-and-mental-health

 

Additionally, Iris Elliot has written a short accompanying blog.

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/tackling-poverty-and-mental-health-%E2%80%93-what-we-know-and-what-we-can-do

 

Finally, Iris Elliot is interviewed in this short edition of the Mental Health Foundation Podcast.

 https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/podcasts-and-videos/mental-health-and-poverty

 

Addendum: I realise I missed this cracking piece by Clinical Psychologist Masuma Rahim from 2014. 

On trying to do therapy when your patient has no food or money

 

We’d be grateful if anyone wishes to post other relevant links in the comment section of our blog.

 

Producer: John McGowan

Music: http://www.bensound.com/