A Nation in Distress: The UK’s Rise to the Second Most Depressed Country in the World

The UK has officially been ranked as the second-most depressed country on the planet, with a huge spike in individuals experiencing mental health issues since the pandemic.

UK’s Mental Wellbeing Ranking

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Maria Surtu

A recent global survey conducted by the US non-profit Sapien Labs has ranked the UK as the second most miserable place in the world.

Number of Participants

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alex Segre

The survey analyzed responses from 500,000 participants across 71 countries, concluding that the UK has the second-least positive mental health levels in the world.

Survey Methodology

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Chinnapong

The survey examined how individuals’ “inner state impacts their ability to function within their life context”.

One Other Country With More Issues

Image Credit: Shutterstock / MehmetO

Only one country was placed with lower levels of mental health than the UK, with Uzbekistan sitting in first place.

Wealth and Wellbeing

Image Credit: Shutterstock / SB Arts Media

Contrary to expectations, “Greater wealth and economic development do not necessarily lead to greater mental well-being,” as evidenced by the survey findings.

Lockdown a Factor

Image Credit: Shutterstock / DOERS

The mental health crisis became worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the UK shooting down the list as lockdowns became prevalent.

Global Mental Health Crisis

Image Credit: Shutterstock / arindambanerjee

During this time, an additional 53 million people declared they were suffering from a mental health issue worldwide, increasing the original number by over 27%.

Factors Contribute to Mental Health Crisis

Image Credit: Shutterstock / F01 PHOTO

Factors like economic uncertainty, physical health concerns and boredom contributed to the anxiety and growing number of mental health issues in the UK.

COVID Not the Only Factor

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

The pandemic is not the only reason for an increase in mental health crisis in the UK, with a huge number of people already suffering before lockdowns were initiated. 

Smartphones and Processed Food

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Niloo

According to the data, other factors including “getting a smartphone at a young age,” and “frequently eating ultra-processed food” also contribute to the crisis.

Wealthier Countries Experience Strained Relationships

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Iammotos

The study argued that those in wealthier countries with easier internet access are more likely to have strained relationships, contributing to the crisis.

Relationships Contribute to Crisis

Image Credit: Shutterstock / BearFotos

According to the report, the “fraying of friendships and family relationships, that are typically more prevalent in Internet-enabled populations of wealthier countries,” can be a factor.

UK’s Disappointing Score

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

The UK received a dismal score of 49, significantly lower than the global average of 65, reflecting a notable level of distress among respondents.

Comparison With South Africa

Image Credit: Shutterstock / F01 PHOTO

There was a close comparison between the UK and South Africa, with a significant proportion of respondents experiencing distress or struggling, at 35%.

Perceived Improvement After COVID

Image Credit: Shutterstock / oneinchpunch

According to the report, many countries expected to see an improvement in the mental health crisis after the lockdowns, inflicted by COVID, had been lifted.

Hope for Pre-Pandemic Level Mental Health

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

The report argued,  “The expectation may have been that once the lockdowns lifted and the threat of COVID-19 subsided that our collective mental health would begin a recovery towards its pre-pandemic levels.”

The New Normal

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Instead, the report found that “the effects of diminished global mental wellbeing have become a new normal.” 

Factors Contributing to Misery

Image Credit: Shutterstock / akramalrasny

Despite its status as a developed nation, the UK’s mental well-being lags behind countries experiencing severe humanitarian crises, such as Yemen, which scored higher at 59.

UK Economic Woes

Image Credit: Shutterstock / SrideeStudio

Recently, the UK has experienced economic failures such as an ongoing cost-of-living crisis mixed with a recession, that was revealed at the start of 2024.

International Happiness Rankings

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Laktikov Artem

Despite its low mental well-being score, the UK ranks 19th in the World Happiness Report 2023, showing that despite many people in the UK facing a mental health crisis, the country on a whole is a relatively happy one.

25 Things You CAN’T Talk About Anymore

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Motortion Films

Remember the days when you could freely discuss just about anything without fear of sparking controversy? Well, those days are long gone. In today’s hyper-sensitive world, there are topics so fraught with tension that even mentioning them can lead to heated debates and hurt feelings. 25 Things You CAN’T Talk About Anymore

Stranded: 15 Worst British Cars in History

Image Credit: Shutterstock / John Selway

Ever had a car that spent more time with the mechanic than on the road? A car that turned every journey into a game of “Will we actually get there?” If so, you might just see a familiar face (or should we say, chassis) in our countdown to the most unreliable British car in history. Stranded: 15 Worst British Cars in History

“Britain Will Become Unrecognizable” – Suella Braverman Spells Disaster for UK Amid Steep Rise in Visas Issued

Image Credit: Shutterstock / I T S

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has warned that Britain will become “unrecognizable,” criticizing the amount of work visas the Home Office has approved, despite only being removed from her role in November. “Britain Will Become Unrecognizable” – Suella Braverman Spells Disaster for UK Amid Steep Rise in Visas Issued

20 Things From the ‘70s That Are Not OK Today

Image Credit: Shutterstock / HappySloth

Step into the time machine and set the dial to the 1970s, a decade of disco, bell-bottoms, and some rather questionable choices. While the ’70s gave us iconic music and groundbreaking TV, not everything from this groovy era would get a green light today. 20 Things From the ‘70s That Are Not OK Today

20 Best and Worst Universities in the UK

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Barton

Navigating the UK university landscape is like deciphering a complex code of rankings, reviews, and reputations to uncover where you’ll not just learn, but truly flourish. Whether you’re drawn to the historic halls of Oxford or the creative buzz of Goldsmiths, finding your perfect fit is about aligning your aspirations with the unique offerings of each institution. 20 Best and Worst Universities in the UK

The post A Nation in Distress: The UK’s Rise to the Second Most Depressed Country in the World first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Fergus Coyle.

Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

Leave a Comment