Well-being and mental health
This report examines the prevalence of subjective well-being and mental ill-health in England in 2016, using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS) and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). It compares well-being and mental ill-health in different population groups by age, sex, region, household income and area deprivation as well as lifestyle factors, BMI and physical activity.
- WEMWBS is scored on a range from 14 to 70; average well-being scores for men and women in England were 50.1 and 49.6 respectively. This is a decline from 2015 when the scores were 51.7 and 51.5 respectively.
- Men and women living in more deprived areas had lower well-being scores, on average, than those living in less deprived areas. Those living in the most deprived areas had average well-being scores of 48.6 for men and 47.3 for women, compared with 51.5 and 51.0 respectively among those living in the least deprived areas.
- The GHQ-12 is scored on a range from 0 to 12, with a score of 4 or more indicative of probable mental ill health. Women were more likely than men to report a GHQ-12 score of 4 or more (21% of women and 16% of men).
- The prevalence of probable mental ill health was greatest among men and women in the lowest quintile of equivalised household income, with 24% of men and 27% of women reporting a GHQ-12 score of 4 or more, compared with 13% of men and 17% of women in the highest income quintile.
- Men and women with a high GHQ-12 score had lower average well-being scores than those with lower GHQ-12 scores. Average well-being scores for those who scored at least 4 on the GHQ-12 were 40.8 for both men and women compared with 53.3 for men and 53.4 for women with a GHQ-12 score of 0.
- The proportion of adults with high GHQ-12 scores has increased since 2012, from 15% to 19%. This increase is particularly apparent among young men aged between 16 and 34, and young women aged between 16 and 24.