• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Top 5 most miserable countries in the world

Black guy stressing and headache

A recent report by the Global Mind Project, surveying over 400,000 people in 71 countries and 13 languages, paints a concerning picture of mental health. The results present a depressing picture of our post-pandemic prospects, revealing a worrying fall in mental wellbeing after the pandemic in 2020.

This study explores the mental health of people who use the internet globally, revealing alarming patterns that highlight the urgent need for intervention.

Key findings from the report include: mental wellbeing has been on the decline post pandemic, young adults are experiencing mental health issues at a startlingly higher rate than the older generations, wealth does not necessarily guarantee happiness.

The ranking was done based on the average Mental Health Quotient (MHQ) score. It should however be noted that the MHQ score is not a universal measure of perfect mental health but rather individuals’ coping abilities in various situations.

Here are 5 of the most miserable countries in the world

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan, a Central Asian nation and former Soviet republic well known for its mosques and museums, is the most miserable country in the world with an average MHQ of 48% and 32% of respondents who are distressed or struggling relative to 2022. However, these distressing statistics do not exist in isolation. According to the World Report 2023, Uzbekistan faces numerous challenges that worsens its mental health crisis. Law enforcement officers have been accused of using excessive force, while lack of accountability for torture and ill-treatment persists. Furthermore, there has been a decline in freedom of speech, religion, and media, painting a bleak picture of civil liberties in the country. Domestic violence remains largely unaddressed, further compounding the hardships faced by Uzbekistan’s population.

United Kingdom
With an average MHQ of 49 and 35% of respondents reporting feeling distressed or struggling compared to 2022, the United Kingdom comes in as the second most miserable country. Adding to the mental health challenge is a cost-of-living crisis fueled by high energy and food prices. Despite government efforts, these problems persist, leading to a rise in homelessness as pandemic support measures end.

South Africa
South Africa faces environmental concerns, with little action taken to address pollution and the dangers posed by toxic waste near abandoned mines and dams. Additionally, women continue to endure abuse, including murder, assault, and harassment, highlighting pervasive gender-based violence.These issues contribute to South Africa ranking as the third most miserable country, with an average MHQ score of 50 and 35% of respondents reporting feeling distressed or struggling compared to 2022.

Brazil
In Brazil, significant challenges persist, affecting the well-being of its people. There’s no clear plan to support people with disabilities, and the government hasn’t effectively addressed the educational setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for marginalized groups like Black and Indigenous children and those from low-income families.. These issues contribute to Brazil’s ranking with an average MHQ score of 53, making it a country where 34% of respondents feel Distressed or Struggling compared to 2022.

Tajikistan
Restrictions on freedom of expression, both online and offline, domestic violence and poverty are the issues that have contributed to Tajikistan being ranked as the fifth most miserable country in the world, with an average MHQ score of 53.

On the other hand, 5 of the happiest countries with their respective MHQ scores include: Dominican Republic (91), Sri Lanka (89), Tanzania (88), Panama (85) and Malaysia (85).