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The Scottish Health Survey 2021: summary report

Key findings from the Scottish Health Survey 2021 report.

This document is part of a collection


Chapter 2 Mental Wellbeing

Average levels of mental wellbeing (measured by mean WEMWBS1 scores) were lower in 2021 than in 2019, following a decade in which levels had remained fairly constant.

49.8 in 2019

48.6 in 2021

Women’s average mental wellbeing scores fell by more than those for men.

In 2021, adult mean WEMWBS scores varied by age; highest for those aged 65 and above, and lowest for those aged 25 to 34.

In 2021, adult mean WEMWBS scores were lower in the most deprived areas.

In 2017/2018/2019/2021 combined, boys aged 13-15 had higher mean WEMWBS scores than girls of the same age.

Girls aged 13-15: 50.8

Boys aged 13-15: 51.9

All children aged 13-15: 49.6

In 2021, 22% of adults had a GHQ-122 score of four or more (indicating a possible psychiatric disorder), an increase from 2019 for both men and women.

The proportion of adults with a GHQ-12 score of four or more tended to decrease with age.

In 2021, prevalence of depression, anxiety and ever attempted suicide were at similar levels to 2018/2019 combined. Prevalence of ever having self-harmed increased over this period.

Depression, anxiety, ever attempted suicide and ever self-harmed were more common among younger than older age groups.

Depression, anxiety, ever attempted suicide and ever self-harmed were also more common in the most deprived areas.

In 2021, prevalence of anxiety was higher for women than for men.

10% men

18% women

In 2021, 8% of adults reported feeling lonely ‘most’ or ‘all of the time’ in the last week. This was higher for younger people.

8% All adults

7% Men

8% Women

Prevalence of feeling lonely ‘most’ or ‘almost all of the time’ in the past week was highest in the most deprived areas in 2021.

Contact

Email: scottishhealthsurvey@gov.scot

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