Life satisfaction in Swindon falls during cost-of-living crisis
By Jamie Hill - 4 December 2023
Life satisfaction in Swindon has fallen during the cost-of-living crisis, new figures show.
Mental Health UK said people's declining mental health is due to the coronavirus pandemic and cost-of-living crisis, and called on the Government to prioritise people's mental health.
Office for National Statistics figures show people in Swindon answered the question "how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?" with an average of 7.4 in the year to March – down from 7.6 the year before.
They were asked to rank their feelings on a scale where one is "not at all" and 10 is "completely".
Across the UK, satisfaction levels have fallen slightly to 7.5 following a post-pandemic bump in 2021-22.
Brian Dow, chief executive of Mental Health UK, said: "When you consider the pressures on people's mental health over recent years, it's no wonder that the nation's mental health is in decline.
"This data tracks what we've seen as a charity, with wellbeing taking a hard knock from the pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis forcing many people to choose between whether they should heat their home or put food in the fridge.
"While there are small steps we can all take to try to improve our wellbeing and support others, this data indicates just how impactful external events can be, and should serve as yet another warning call to the Government that it must better prioritise mental health."
The figures also show an increase in anxiety levels last year, with the average person in the UK rating their anxiety the day before at 3.2 out of 10.
In Swindon, anxiety levels dropped marginally from 3.3 in March 2022 to 3.2 this year.
Olly Parker, head of external affairs at YoungMinds, said: "It’s deeply worrying, but sadly unsurprising, that life satisfaction has fallen at the same time anxiety levels are increasing."
"No young person should be left without the mental health help they need," he added.
"The Government must prioritise young people’s mental health and provide early support hubs in every community, more help for pupils in schools, and shorter waiting times."