It is better for people and for the NHS if we keep people healthy in the first place, rather than just waiting until people develop illnesses and come for treatment. 40 per cent of NHS spending is on diseases that are preventable, so we need to do more to support people to lead more active and healthy lives and to help to improve the mental health and wellbeing. This is everybody's business - in our communities, places of work and education; the NHS, social care and public health can't do it alone.
Our understanding of what causes physical and mental ill health is evolving all of the time. It is clear there are strong links between illness and both environmental and social factors. We know that poor housing, unsafe streets, poor air quality, unhealthy diets and financial uncertainty can create the conditions for people to become both physically and mentally unwell.
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