After six years of impact, how can we continue to protect and improve wellbeing?

As part of our wellbeing data analysis programme, we worked with research partner Daisy Fancourt and her team at University College London on their analysis of their Covid-19 Social Study between March and September 2020. This looks at the data of more than 70,000 people. Our briefing provides insights into how mental health conditions have changed and what the risk factors are that need to be recognised when supporting people’s mental health…

Worrying about the future is one of the reasons people are anxiousThe Covid-19 Social Study asked participants to report what factors in the prior week had caused them stress. Results confirmed the real and tangible effects the pandemic has had on people’s health, employment status, social lives and relationships – all of which can negatively affect mental health and wellbeing.But people’s mental health had already been affected before those changes have hit us directly. Anticipating changes and worrying about the future is one of the reasons people are anxious. Catching and becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 was the most prevalent cause of worry (40% of people), with worries about finance affecting one in four people; unemployment one in six; and accessing food about one in 20 people. This blog comes from Deborah Hardoon, Head of Evidence at the Centre
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.This month, the Centre celebrates its sixth anniversary. To mark it, we are publishing our updated strategy, setting out our priorities – now and for the future. The Centre was set up by the Government in 2014 in response to the O’Donnell Commission for Wellbeing & Policy, and to continue the implementation of the ONS’s National Wellbeing Measurement Programme that was established in 2010.One piece of the skyAfter six years we can now be more specific about which factors matter. Earlier this year we published Wellbeing Evidence at the Heart of Policy – our update to the Commission on Wellbeing and Policy and the WISER priorities for improving wellbeing. It contains evidence on the relationships between different aspects of our lives and individual wellbeing outcomes, and identifies categories that have the greatest impact. Wellbeing is not just one person or organisation’s job and we each hold up our bit of the sky.  As we celebrate six years of hard work, we want to say a big thank you to all our partners, teams and colleagues – past and present – for moving the wellbeing evidence, policy and practice forward.This blog is by Nancy Hey, Executive Director of the Centre
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