Created in 2012, Public Health England (PHE) is a national public health agency (an Executive Agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, UK Government).

  • It exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities.
  • It does this through advocacy, partnerships, world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, and the delivery of specialist public health services.

PHE has always regarded public mental health as a priority work area and has mainly focused on three areas:

  • Mental health promotion
  • Prevention of mental disorders/suicide prevention
  • Addressing the health inequalities experienced by people living with or recovering from a mental disorder.  
Summary of relevant work: 

As a national public health agency, PHE delivers mental health promotion and prevention policy across England. We have the main responsibility in England for delivering on the third objective of the WHO global mental health action plan (2013-20): “to implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health”.

Our approach is to synthesise the best available evidence and translate this into guidance documents and programmes to improve mental health and wellbeing at a population level. We take a life-course approach producing tools and guidance from perinatal through to old age mental health and seek to address the social determinants of mental health and identify modifiable risk and protective factors.

  • We contribute to the NHS programme on child health ensuring mental health is a key component. Our work with adolescents and young people include guidance for schools on promoting mental health, a social marketing campaign ‘Rise Above’ and a public health approach to building resilience.
  • We have produced guidance for the adult population that include toolkits for employers to promote mental health in the workplace, a leadership and workforce development framework, training resources for promoting mental health and are soon to launch a national campaign to improve mental health literacy.
  • Our suicide prevention guidance supports local areas to develop their own plans, supports risk reduction in high risk locations and supports those affected by suicide.
  • We support public health partners in local government who use our guidance and tools to inform their local public mental health work. This includes our data tools included in the ‘fingertips’ profiles.
Public Health England, Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UG
020 7654 8000
Key partners: 
  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • World Health Organization (Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse)
  • What Works for Wellbeing Centre
Seeking collaboration with: 
Other organizations
Experts by experience/service users
Policy makers
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland