MENTAL HEALTH AND INCOME COMMISSION Exploring the link between mental health and income

We have launched the Mental Health and Income Commission to examine how people’s mental health affects the income they receive through, work, benefits and other sources. It will also look at what a fairer labour market and welfare system would look like for people with mental health problems.


The Commission comprises of leaders from business, unions, politics, academia and the third sector. It is chaired by Chris Pond, Money and Mental Health trustee.

Income Commissioners Headshots

Lauren Adams

Lauren is CBI HR Director and responsible for the people strategy at the CBI, ensuring they attract, retain and develop great people, enabling the CBI to help businesses create a more prosperous society. She has a particular (and personal) interest in wellbeing and mental health and also sits on the Thriving at Work Leadership Council, addressing how businesses and government can support those with mental ill health to remain and thrive at work. She is also a Trustee for Astriid, a charity which connects business with those with long term health issues.

Jo bibby

Jo Bibby

Jo Bibby is Director of Health at the Health Foundation and is responsible for developing and leading the Foundation’s Healthy Lives strategy to address the wider social and commercial determinants of health. Joining the Foundation in November 2007, Jo initially led the development of the Foundation’s influential portfolio of work in patient safety and person-centred care.  Jo has worked in health care at local and national level for 25 years, including 10 years at the Department of Health.

Natalie Creary headshot November 2019

Natalie Creary

Natalie Creary is the Director for Black Thrive a partnership between statutory organisations, the voluntary sector and local communities who work collaboratively to reduce mental health inequality experienced by African and African-Caribbean communities in the London Borough of Lambeth. Natalie has also worked for local government and lectures in Public Health. Her current research explores the impact of the social determinants on the health experiences of Black communities, paying attention to how race, age, class, gender and sexuality intersect to shape their lived experience of health and wellbeing.

Income Commissioners Headshots (2)

Paul Farmer CBE

Paul Farmer has been Chief Executive of Mind, the leading mental health charity working in England and Wales since May 2006. Paul is Chair of the NHS England Independent Oversight & Advisory Group which brings together health and care leaders and experts to oversee the current mental health long term plan for the NHS in England. He co-authored ‘Thriving at Work’ for the government, setting out how to transform mental health in work places. Paul is a Commissioner at Historic England. He has an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of East London, is an Honorary Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford, and The Royal College of Psychiatrists, and was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours 2016.

Deven Ghelani_Policy_in_Practice_compressed_FOR MEDIA USE

Deven Ghelani

Deven Ghelani, director and founder of Policy in Practice, is a thought leader in welfare reform. He has worked on Universal Credit since its inception and has written extensively on welfare policy, government spending and employment. Deven set up Policy in Practice, a social policy, software and analytics business, to make the welfare system easier to understand and to bridge the gap between policy development and implementation. Its mission is to help change people’s lives by communicating policy properly so that people have the information they need to make the decisions that are right for them. As well as policy research, Policy in Practice provides data analysis for local authorities to identify people who are financially vulnerable, target the right support, and track change.

Income Commissioners Headshots (4)

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith

Ruby is currently a Non-Executive Director at the Department for Education and Tideway; senior independent advisor at Mace Group; and chair of the Airport Operators Association. She is a member of the House of Lords Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies, and patron of the Employers Forum for Equality and Inclusion. Previously, Ruby spent fourteen years at Mitie Group PLC – including a decade as CEO, as one of a small number of female CEOs in the FTSE 250. She also served as Chair of the Women’s Business Council, and has held a range of NED and public appointments and won a number of national awards during her business career. Ruby was appointed CBE in 2011 for services to business and to diversity in business, and became a life peer in 2015.

Income Commissioners Headshots (5)

Roy Rickhuss CBE

Roy is a lifelong trade unionist and has been General Secretary of Community trade union since 2013. He represents Community on the TUC General Council and is a member of the Executive Council of the General Federation of Trade Unions. He was invited to join the government’s Industrial Strategy Council in 2018, and in the 2019 New Year honours he was awarded a CBE for services to the steel industry. Roy has led the campaign on mental health in the workplace for Community members and the wider trade union movement, and has previously volunteered as a qualified Samaritans counsellor.

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith MP

Jeff has been MP for Manchester Withington since May 2015. After university, he worked as an event manager and DJ. Prior to taking up his current role Jeff was a local Councillor in Manchester Withington’s Old Moat ward for 18 years. During this tenure Jeff served as the Executive Member for Education and Children’s Services from 2003 – 2008 and Executive Member for Finance 2011- 2015 with Manchester City Council. Jeff has been a Governor of a number of local primary and high schools, as well as a board member of the local housing trust and a number of public bodies in Manchester. He serves as an Opposition Whip in the House of Commons.

Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor CBE

Matthew Taylor CBE has been Chief Executive of the RSA since 2006. In 2017 Matthew published ‘Good Work’; an independent review into modern employment, commissioned by the UK Prime Minister. In 2019, Matthew started a new part-time role as the Government’s Director of Labour Market Enforcement and is also a member of its Industrial Strategy Council.  Prior to the RSA, Matthew was Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research. He then became Chief Adviser on political strategy to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Income in Crisis

Our first report looks at how the coronavirus outbreak has affected the income of people with mental health problems. You can read the full report here.

Mind the income gap

Our second report looks at how long term factors in the labour market and social security system have led to people with mental health problems having lower than average incomes. You can read the full report here.

Closing the gap

Our final report sets out the immediate and systemic changes needed from government and employers to close the mental health income gap. You can read the full report here.

Find out more about the data behind the mental health income gap with our new visual data tool here.