• Monday, April 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

UK among most depressed countries in the world

UK Depression

A mental well-being report by Sapien Labs, a US-based neuroscience research organization, has ranked the United Kingdom as the second-most depressed country in the world, after Uzbekistan.

The annual “Mental State of the World” report released 16 days to world happiness day, surveyed over 400,000 people from 71 countries using a Mental Health Quotient (MHQ) to evaluate various aspects of mental health such as mood, social self, drive, adaptability, cognition, and mind-body connection.

The global rankings for 2023 indicate that the Dominican Republic leads the list with the highest average MHQ – 91, followed by Sri Lanka – 89, and Tanzania – 88.

At the bottom of the list was Uzbekistan with the lowest average MHQ–48, followed closely by the UK at 70th with a 49 MHQ score, much lower than the the global average of 65.

According to the report, mental well-being remained at its post-pandemic low with yet again no sign of movement towards pre-pandemic levels. , as the cost of living continues to rise. The research also attributes the low performance of affluent nations to early-age smartphone use, consumption of ultra-processed foods, and a decline in interpersonal relationships leading to increased loneliness.

“The dramatic decline in mental wellbeing that occurred between 2019 and 2020, and continued into 2021 through the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to persist with no sign of recovery,” the report said.

In the UK, about 35% of respondents report experiencing distress or difficulty with their mental well-being, which particularly affects young adults and economically challenged families. The report notes a decline in mental well-being for the 18-24 age group since 2020, indicating a challenging period marked by economic recessions, a relentless cost-of-living crisis, and a turbulent property market.

Overall, many Latin American and African countries topped the rankings while much of the core Anglosphere ranks in the bottom quartile. National wealth indicators such as GDP per capita negatively correlated with average mental well-being scores.