According to the second Annual Mental State of the World Report released by Sapien Labs, South Africa is one of the lowest ranking countries in terms of mental health wellness. The Mental State of The World report looked at 223 087 people across 34 countries from 6 continents and ranked them on the MHQ scale. “The MHQ positions individuals on the spectrum from Distressed to Thriving, spanning a possible range of scores from −100 to +200 where negative scores indicate a mental wellbeing status that has significant negative impact on the ability to function.”
As an individual struggles with financial problems, their mental health deteriorates.
South Africa’s score of 46 was one of the lowest across the world, tied with the United Kingdom. The Covid pandemic had a major impact on the well being of many people across the globe. Countries grouped as the Core Anglosphere (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, India, Singapore and South Africa saw an 8 percent decline in mental wellbeing from 2019 to 2020. In 2021, the decline was less at 3 percent.
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According to the report “these declines in mental wellbeing from 2019 to 2021 were significantly correlated with the aggregate stringency of government Covid-19 measures across both years’.
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Financial instability is one of the drivers of mental health distress. “As an individual struggles with financial problems, their mental health deteriorates,” notes Psychreg. More and more South Africans are finding themselves in a precarious financial situation. On Tuesday, Statistics SA announced an increase in the number of unemployed people in the 4th quarter of 2021. The number of unemployed people increased by 278 000 to 7,9 million at the end of last year.