According to a new global survey for World Mental Health Day, Britain is second only to Sweden for acceptance of public officials who have experienced mental health issues, with just 12% saying anyone with a history of mental illness should be excluded from public office. By contrast, the same figure for Russia is 76%, making it the least tolerant country by this measure.
The findings are based on a survey of more than 20,000 people across 29 countries, including over 1,000 in Britain, between 23 August – 6 September 2019.
Other findings include:
- Globally, a quarter (25%) of 16-34-year-olds think about their mental health very often – the most of any age group. By contrast, just one in eight (12%) over-65s think about their own mental health very often.
- Colombians (76%), Mexicans (73%) and Brazilians (73%) are most likely to say they think about their own mental wellbeing very or fairly often, while Russians (25%), South Koreans (37%) and Saudi Arabians (42%) are least likely to.
- People in Japan (41%), Brazil (44%) and Peru (45%) are least likely to agree that mental illness is an illness like any other.
- People in South Korea (31%) and Japan (47%) are least likely to agree that we need to adopt a far more tolerant attitude towards people with mental illness. By contrast, those in Latin American countries – Mexico (85%), Peru (85%), Chile (85%), Colombia (84%) and Argentina (84%) – are most likely to.
- In all countries surveyed, a majority say mental and physical health are equally important.