Guernsey publishes first wellbeing survey results

Sara Johnson
Image caption Dr Johnson said she hoped the results promoted mental health in the island

Levels of anxiety and depression in Guernsey are similar to those in the UK, according to the first survey into mental wellbeing in the island.

The survey involved a questionnaire being sent to a random selection of adults in Guernsey and Alderney.

Dr Stephen Bridgman, the Director of Public Health, said: "This provides an important baseline from which we can monitor changes in community wellbeing.

"It will measure our efforts to maintain and increase wellbeing."

He added: "Mental health and wellbeing issues are a major and increasing cause of disability worldwide and a very significant public health issue in Guernsey."

From the 2,761 questionnaires sent out 722 (26%) were completed and returned.

Two measures were used; the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (Wemwbs) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Hads).

The Wemwbs scores found 16% of respondents were classified as having low mental wellbeing, 67% as having moderate wellbeing and 17% as having high wellbeing.

These findings were similar to those found in similar UK-based studies.

The proportion of respondents whose Hads scores put them in the at risk category for anxiety and/or depression was 21%, which was slightly higher than recent estimates for Jersey (15%) and the UK (18%).

Clinical psychologist Dr Sara Johnson said: "The findings from this research underline how frequently common mental health disorders are experienced on a day-to-day basis by islanders.

"We hope that it will stimulate debate on how we can maintain and promote positive mental wellbeing locally, reflecting the message that mental health is 'everybody's business'."

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