Promoting Wellbeing

Promoting wellbeing is at the heart of what local government is about: supporting a better life for its citizens and helping to build resilient communities, now and over the longer term. There is very little within the core functions of local government that does not have the potential to contribute to improving wellbeing whether that be through improving employment and the economy, planning and maintaining the physical environment, improving access to green spaces, supporting parenting and early child development, providing opportunities for physical activity and so on.

The pages in this section include our thought provoking report 'the role of local government in promoting wellbeing' and highlights good practice in local government through the local wellbeing project, expert opinion pieces and other case study examples. This section also provides links to programmes and projects in the field of wellbeing policy and practice and to partner organisations.

The role of local government in promoting wellbeing

The role of local government in promoting wellbeing

Jointly commissioned by Local Government (LG) Improvement and Development (formerly the IDeA) and the National Mental Health Development Unit and written by nef (the new economics foundation), this report examines how local government can support a better life for its citizens to help build resilient communities, both now and in the long term.

Local government's role in promoting wellbeing

The role of local government in promoting wellbeing - additional expert contributions

This report is supported by a collection of online material that offers a number of expert contributions to the arguments found within the main publication - see Section 3.3 for a list of topic areas. You can find links to these contributions throughout the report or access them directly below:

Reflections on 21st century wellbeing - Marcia Brophy, Wellbeing and Resilience Programme Leader, The Young Foundation

The origins of local government and public health - Dr John Ashton, Joint Director of Public Health for NHS Cumbria

Mental health, inequalities and the role of local government - Dr Lynne Friedli

How local government can promote wellbeing through physical activity - Dr Andrew McCulloch, CEO, Mental Health Foundation

Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment: a way for people to contribute to decision making - Anthea Cooke and Lynn Snowden, Directors of Inukshuk Consultancy.

Mental health promotion in the current economic climate - Michael Parsonage, ex-Treasury economist and Senior Policy Adviser, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health

A focus on wellbeing in Manchester - Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council

To see all specialist contributions in full go to:

Expert contributions

Making it happen - wellbeing and the role of local government

“Making it Happen” is based on a series of conversations carried out on behalf of the Healthy Communities Programme explored what ‘wellbeing' means to the work of councils. They showed that wellbeing is a concept with the power to fundamentally re-define the role of local councils. A focus on wellbeing can help councils ask and answer the question: ‘What kind of council do we want to be?'

Making it happen - wellbeing and the role of local government (PDF, 32 pages, 638KB)

How to... promote mental health wellbeing

This resource has been designed for people and agencies wanting to actively promote and improve the mental wellbeing of their community. It is not intended to be a comprehensive mental wellbeing resource, which would need to encompass population level and socio-economic policy, instead it focuses on community level activity.

How to... promote mental health wellbeing

The Local Wellbeing project

The Local Wellbeing project was a unique four-year initiative, running until March 2010, to test practical ways of improving public wellbeing through local authorities and their partners in three very different areas of the UK.

The Local Wellbeing project

Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment

Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment (MWIA) enables local service commissioners and community organisations to assess and measure the impact of their interventions on their population's mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment

Related information

Useful links

Mental capital and wellbeing


23 November 2011

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