Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Mental Health and Mood of the Nation

click to enlarge - Mental Health

The Uncovered magazine recently produced a survey on the mental health and mood of the nation.  Contributors were asked, on a scale of 1 to 5 - with 1 being low - how healthy they thought they were.  Scots didn't fair too badly but the Shetlands don't seem too happy at 2.  How the north east of England achieved 7 is bewildering. Only 46% of the population said they are mentally very healthy but Scotland had the lowest percentage with only 1% giving a 1 rating.

click to enlarge - Mood

The East Midlands are the happiest with nobody rating a 1. The South West came a close second with 79% of the population scoring a 4 or 5.

Northern Ireland, West Midlands and London fared worst with just a 3.8 mean average score.  Only 21% rated Northern Ireland a 5 (a very happy place to live), only 25% rated London a 5 and only 28% voted West Midlands a 5.

London had the most surprising results with only 44% of Londoners judging themselves as being 'very mentally healthy' and it had the highest national percentage of those who claim to be very mentally unhealthy.

What does this tell us?  Not a lot really except perhaps we should be more confident in ourselves and laugh a little more.


John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

(Removed 'cos of multiple typos)
Should have read
Tell us? Not to take too much notice of surveys

English Pensioner said...

Being a cynic, the first things that I ask about any "survey" are who carried it out and why?
Unfortunately, there is very little genuine independent academic research carried out these days; except at very few universities even research for higher degrees has to conform to the professor's thinking.
So who wants what from this research?

JRB said...

Sorry, Subrosa, but I too am one of the band of cynics.

The best I can say about ‘Uncovered Magazine’ is that it has all the intellectual depth of a crisp packet.

In fact what it publishes is dangerous and often inaccurate glossy magazine journalism pretending to have an air of pseudo-scientific gravitas. It would not withstand a moment of genuine medical or scientific scrutiny.

‘Uncovered Magazine’ opens this questionable study by stating – “We asked the nation” – no they didn’t. Credibility totally gone in the first four words.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that the magazine is untrustworthy. The thing that bugs me most, though, is that these kind of surveys trivialise and make light of actual mental health issues, encourage self-diagnosis and egotism.
Scotland has a lot of very good mental health initiatives, sort of on topic, which is something that always impressed me. Lots of very high profile things making it a very public discussion, as it indeed needs to be.

subrosa said...

John, yes indeed. I posted it as a little satire for a Sunday night. :)

subrosa said...

EP, I've no idea who wants what or who funded the survey other than the magazine.

It does show the level of information published and which people buy though doesn't it.

subrosa said...

JRB, I too am a cynic. As I said to John (above) it was posted with my cynicism to the fore. This is an example of the level of information people are offered in these types of magazines.

Of course it has no credibility.

subrosa said...

Well said lazaruszine. I doubt if this level of survey will open any public debate though. To class Scotland as one 'group' says it all. Certain mental health issues differ in various parts of Scotland as we know, however that isn't even mentioned.

No, it's useless I'm afraid. Thought I'd post it to show how useless it is.

mollyandbilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mollyandbilly said...

I find your posts most interesting, as the editor of Uncovered magazine. Our experts are all registered with the BPAS, medical councils or regulatory bodies of their expert area. We work closely with NHS, or social groups and charities on the front line of mental health. We take our comments extremely seriously and the magazine has critical praise from many in the mental health field.
JRB - I wonder why you feel able to criticise the expertise of our very carefully chosen experts and what you feel you have done for the world of mental health that gives you the credibility to criticise a publication that gets daily letters from the public thanking us for giving them hope, strength, information and the courage to seek help?

banned said...

Don't wish to be picky SR but that is the North West of england on a high 7.

I note that we in the S/W are in a good mood and wonder if that has anything to do with the abandonment of work at Exeter Universitys new bulding for "Mood Disorder Studies" (because the main contractor, ROK, has gone bust)?

subrosa said...

mollyandbilly, thanks so much for your comment. My disappointment was in the minimal information given in the survey.

JRB can answer for himself but I have quite an understanding of mental health and I feel it's long past time the likes of your carefully chosen experts spoke out more.

Brian Rix did a great deal in his day. Since then mental health has, once more, drifted to the back burner. It needs to be brought to the fore much more.

subrosa said...

You're not being picky banned. I noticed it too and surely it must be an editorial error. The editor didn't mention it either. (see mollyandbill above).

mollyandbilly said...

Thank you, we are very glad to have a forum for debate on these topics. I think most importantly our survey findings show - 48% of people surveyed are more likely to go to Google than their GP - we as a publication always suggest GP as the first port of call if a reader thinks they may have a problem. We found this result very worrisome. It also showed men seem to over-all have the same level of anxieties as women, but are less likely to seek help for these - another topic we feel important to discuss and address.

As for North West England; this was noticed after going to press - it passed by me, our proofers and printers! While concentrating my skills on the accuracy of our mental health content, the geographical info did, I am afraid, go un-noticed!

mollyandbilly said...

Oh and quickly before getting back to editing the magazine - JRB says: ‘Uncovered Magazine’ opens this questionable study by stating – “We asked the nation” – no they didn’t. Credibility totally gone in the first four words.

We actually open the survey by saying - and this is taken straight from the file:

We are delighted to bring you the results of Uncovered’s first national survey. Uncovered enlisted the services of GfK NOP, the leading market research agency, to investigate the state of the nation’s mental wellbeing.
We focused on six key areas to bring you a comprehensive report.

Gab said...

Oh my.. I have seen it all: Mr JRB, a pharmaceutical chemist accusing other people of being untrustworthy!?? You have got to be jokeing!!! I am as cynical as they come, hence the above comment, but I would give anybody a chance. After reading your comments I took the liberty of checking this mag's website and, although don't give a flying monkey about mental health, I actually think their articles are quite serious and right on the subject without any frills.
As for the comment "they asked the nation", of course they didn't, but that's a common saying in this context. It's like saying the nation has elected this government: it hasn't, but there you go.
I too don't care much about surveys but they have to follow certain approved patterns to be published.
And even the University surveys take into consideration only a cross section of the population, therefore as exact as any other.
It seems to me we have here a lot of people who like to complain about the world but with not a lot of knowledge about it and no actual drive to better it.
Why not do your own survey? I am sure some papers or mags, even this one you are moaning at, would publish it and even pay you for it?!
Too easy to complain sitting down doing nothing, a few of us are actually out there trying to make a difference.
But what do I know, maybe the fantasticly trustworthy pharmaceutical companies have a cure for all today's problems!

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