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To better tackle mental illness, look to the societies in which it occurs

Mental distress has external causes

The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is a human right. That’s according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner.

Few Prospect readers would argue against human rights. But we usually view health, particularly mental health, as an individual affair, seeing it only as an internal state. In truth we are all greatly influenced by wider society.

When large numbers of people become unwell, we need to look beyond biology and consider what is happening at the societal level.

In their new book The Inner Level, Richard Wilkinson and…

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