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Mental Health Statistics 2020/21: global insights about improving mood

Mental Health Statistics 2020 focus

Are you looking for Mental Health Statistics 2020/2021? Then, I have great news for you. The Wellcome Global Monitor: Mental Health report is now available. This is the world’s largest survey of how people consider and cope with anxiety and depression and explores the perceived role of science in finding new solutions.

So, what question did The Wellcome Global Monitor Survey ask?

When you were feeling anxious or depressed, did you ever do any of the following to make yourself feel better? Talk to friends or family? Improve healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as exercise, sleep, and diet? Spend time in nature/the outdoors? Make a major change in your personal relationships? Make a major change in your work situation? Take medication as prescribed by a healthcare professional? Talk to a mental health professional? Engage in religious or spiritual activities or talk to a religious leader?”

According to the Wellcome Global Monitor, 85% of those surveyed said they had tried at least three of the eight actions, compared to 3% who said they had not tried any and 4% who had only tried one. Globally, 10% said they used all eight approaches listed above. (page 23.)

For example, Northern Americans had taken 5.6 of the actions on average, compared with fewer than four among those in East Asia (3.9) and the Middle East/North Africa (3.7). (page 24)

In 2017, I faced a severe bout of anxiety and depression. Looking back, I realize that I used every method on that list. During this challenging season, I talked to friends, family, my pastor, and a licensed counselor. I learned to say no to unrealistic demands at work and personal relationships and I improved my sleep habits through medication and a sleep apnea machine.

But to my surprise, walking in a private garden catalyzed my recovery. Despite my allergies, I walked and observed nature, played in the water sprinklers, and marveled at the numerous mini-rainbows that appeared at ground level.

Key Points from the Wellcome Global Monitor survey of mental health statistics 2020/2021.

40% of the world’s population suffers from anxiety or depression.

Furthermore, anxiety or depression prevented 19% of those polled from carrying out their daily tasks. The inability to perform everyday tasks for two weeks or longer due to depression or anxiety was roughly equal in men and women.

Globally, 92 percent of people believe that mental health is as important as or more important than physical health for overall well-being.

According to the study, 46 percent of people worldwide believe mental health is just as important as physical health.

Another 46 percent thought that mental health was more important to overall well-being.

Few (5%) people believe that mental health is less important than physical health.

Here are the preferences of North Americans according to Wellcome Global Monitor.
61% Making a change to personal relationships.
56% Spending time outdoors.
53% Talking to a mental health professional.
53% Making a change to a work situation.
53% Improving healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Globally, taking prescribed medication (49%), talking to a mental health professional (43%), and engaging in religious/spiritual activities (43%) were among the least cited ways people had tried to feel better.

The survey indicates that “there is a pervasive disconnect between the high level of importance placed on progressing solutions to mental health problems and the low belief in the power of science to assist in finding those solutions for how the world views mental health science.” (page 35.)

What was surprising about the Global Monitor Mental Health Statistics 2020/2021?

Significant numbers of those affected. The rising number of people openly indicating they suffer from depression and anxiety appears to have changed in response to the pandemic.

Most people have been directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic. Our shared trauma and losses make it harder to hide the impacts of anxiety or depression. Especially when you are surrounded by others who are experiencing loss as well.

Recognition of the importance of Mental Health. Since more people acknowledge that they suffer from depression and anxiety, I am not surprised they recognized the importance of mental health care.

However, I was stunned that they considered it equally import as physical health and perhaps even more critical to an individual’s well-being.

Global Treatment Preferences.

The survey broke down which of the eight methods that people regionally preferred to use to feel better.

I was somewhat surprised at the perceived overall skepticism of science and spirituality.

I was very surprised at many’s willingness to combine various methods to combat depression and anxiety. Perhaps, this is in response to an overreliance on science or spirituality as a sole solution.


The number of individuals affected by mental illness is significant. There are a variety of ways that people commonly address anxiety and depression. Often an individual may use a combination of several of these methods.

As we help ourselves, and others, we should be aware that one size does not fit all.

Which of these methods do you prefer? Why? Would you consider trying one of the other methods on the list this week?

If you enjoyed this article, consider checking out Faith and Mental Illness 13 things you need to know today.

As promised, here is a link to the full report from the WELLCOME GLOBAL MONITOR.

Please note that my opinions and conclusions do not necessarily reflect those of the Wellcome Global Monitor or any other organization.

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