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The Results: Mental Health

November 17, 2019

The Results: Mental Health Image

Mental Health Survey Results

Results Highlights:

  • 86% think we DON'T give the same importance to our mental health as we do to our physical health, yet 99.5% of us think we should!
  • Only 4.5% of respondents thought Gibraltar’s mental health care offering was above average
  • Only 1 in 3 said that they would know where to go if they had a mental health concern. That means 2 in 3 wouldn’t know where to ask for help. 
  • In regards to society's general mental health, 66% think it is getting worse, 34% think we are just talking about it more so it may seem like it is worse, no one thinks it is getting better.
  • Our members cited ‘Life being more demanding and complex than it was before giving way to more stress’ as the main reason why they thought mental health issues were more common place (73% agreed).
  • Most common mental health concerns amongst our members was anxiety and excessive worrying - with approx half of members saying they experienced it. 
  • Interestingly enough, 64% of the 35 and under age group knew they could contact GibSams for any matter that worried them, but only 56% of over 35’s knew they could.

More In Depth Analysis

Firstly, we need to thank everyone of our respondents for agreeing to allow us to share the results of the survey anonymously with GibSams. I am sure they will put the insights to good use for the benefit of the community. This is a big deal for the Your Say team as it was the main motivation behind embarking on this project - the fact that the data collected could be of use to local organisations and help them make more informed decisions for the betterment of our local community. So thank you for being a part of this project!

The first two results highlight a real change that needs to happen in our society in regards to how we take care of our mental health: 86% think we DON'T give the same importance to our mental health as we do to our physical health, however 99.5% of us think we should. No doubt a shift of such magnitude includes a lot of moving moving parts, from work based practices focusing on mental welfare, to increasing awareness of symptoms of poor mental health, to significant changes in our mental health care offering and the likes. It will be interesting to see how things develop in this regard.

Which brings us to the next question; overwhelmingly, our respondents thought that Gibraltar’s mental health care offering was average, poor or very poor (91.9%). However, in the comment section at the end of the survey, one respondent did point out that it has improved over the last few years, but there is still a way to go.  

65% of respondents said they would not know where to go if they had a mental health concern. This is a very scary statistic, as it means 2 in 3 of our respondents are not aware of where they could go to get help. For the record, and in case any readers are unsure of how to access support; you should speak to a GP who can assess and refer you if necessary. GibSams also offer an anonymous listening phone service where you can share your concerns every day of the year from 6pm-midnight. At the very minimum, just reach out to a friend or family member and together you can come up with a plan. 

The answer to the previous question is particularly alarmingly in light of the results of the following question, where more than half of us are of the opinion that in general society's mental health is worsening.  

We asked our members what they felt the reasons behind a general rise in mental health care concerns could be. Most respondents cited a myriad of factors with ‘Life being more complex and demanding’, ‘Social media giving a false image of the perfect life’ and ‘Greater pressure to be a high achiever’ topping the list. 

We then asked all respondents whether they had experienced any of a long list of mental health concerns - the most interesting insight from this question was that only one respondent said none - meaning that almost ALL of us suffer from poor mental health at some point in our lives. The results were as follows: Excessive worrying 49%, Loneliness 25%, Anxiety 51%, Feeling very very low 41%, Drunk excessive alcohol just to 'escape' your life 9%, Sometimes just wanted your life to stop 12%, Mood disorder (depression or bipolar) 20%, Eating disorders (to the point that your diet regime dictates your life and/or bulimia, binge eating or anorexia) 14%, Post-traumatic stress (after a tragedy or traumatic experience) 17% and Substance abuse 3%. 

This survey has been very insightful and we would like to finish this write up by pointing you to the amazing work that GibSams does in trying to support our community: Their trained listeners are available to talk everyday of the year from 6pm-midnight. You can contact them on 116 123.

On Tuesday we will send out our new survey with a more festive tone - it’s all about Christmas :) Be empowered. Have your say!