This Mental State of the World report from Sapien Labs provides insight into the mental wellbeing of populations around the globe in 2022 across 64 countries in the Core Anglosphere, continental Europe, Latin America, the Arab world, South and South East Asia and Africa based on responses to the Mental Health Quotient (MHQ) assessment in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), German, Swahili and Hindi. The assessment provides an aggregate metric of mental wellbeing (the MHQ) as well as multiple dimensional views.
The global MHQ average was 64 in the category “Managing” in the lower half of the positive scale.
In the aggregate, the highest mental wellbeing was largely in Spanish-speaking Latin America although Tanzania topped the list at 94. At the bottom were the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil with MHQ scores between 46 and 53.
Mental wellbeing stays largely the same compared to 2021 across the majority of countries tracked in previous years showing little to no recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic years during which average MHQ scores declined 32 MHQ points (11% of the scale).
The dimension of Social Self is the most challenged across the world followed by Mood & Outlook, and has the largest drop from older to younger generations. The regions of Latin America, South and South East Asia see the greatest deterioration in the Social Self from older to younger generations with Peru and India topping the list.
Family relationships are increasingly disintegrating across the globe. The youngest generation of adults are half as likely to be close to their adult families and three times more likely to not get along with them at all relative to their grandparents' generation.
The fraying of adult family relationships may have its origins in changing childhood experience. The percentage who report growing up in stable, loving homes declined three-fold from older to younger generations, although having material comfort and parents invested in their accomplishments grew.
Friendships too, are deteriorating. While younger generations do not consistently report fewer close friends, they are less likely to be able to confide in their friends or rely on them for help when they need it.
The risk of mental health challenges is ten times higher among those who lack close family relationships and friendships compared to those with many close family and friends. For each individually, the difference was about 5-fold suggesting an additive impact of family and friends.
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