Today, there are renewed concerns about the rising rates of mental illness, but few people are talking about what’s required in order to prevent mental illness. When I think of solutions that might address the poverty, inequality, and social isolation implicated in poor mental health, I increasingly think that Universal Basic Income—or UBI—might be a possible solution.

UBI provides a guaranteed basic income to every citizen, intended to lift them above the poverty line. Although there are different models of how a UBI would work in practice, the main idea is that the income would be unconditional and that everyone—rich or poor—would receive it (the rich would obviously support such a policy through taxation, so, in effect, would not be getting a net increase in income).