Mental Health Surveys

The prevalence of mental health issues is increasing worldwide.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions in the past decade alone. And considering the growing awareness of mental health issues, due in part to the many sports people and celebrities opening about their own experiences, it’s not surprising to see there’s been an increasing demand for mental health surveys and services, to better assess peoples’ mental health.

From asking individuals to rate their own mental health and whether they’ve recently experienced any symptoms associated with it, to asking them lifestyle questions including how well they cope with stress, a short survey of your employees, teachers, students or patients can quickly reveal the strength of their mental health and any individuals that might require support.

Areas of mental health that you could survey

From workplaces and educational settings to the wide variety of healthcare providers working to support those struggling with mental health issues, depending on your organisation and the audiences you’re working with, there could be any number of different mental health areas you need to assess through your survey questions.

Here’s a summary of some of the more common areas of mental health, you may come into contact with…

Depression

From major depression and dysthymia to bipolar disorder and seasonal depression. While the symptoms of depression can be quite wide, one of the main indicators is that it often leaves sufferers unable to perform their daily activities. If left untreated symptoms can last weeks, months, or even years.

Anxiety

Again, there can be a range of different anxiety types, resulting in a series of symptoms from and an upset stomach and diarrhoea to feeling faint or trouble breathing. However, more generally anxiety is associated with a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, fear or worry.

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)

PTSD is a severe disorder typically triggered as a result of a traumatic event. This could include anything from exposure to actual or threatened death and serious injury, or the result of physical, sexual or severe emotional abuse.

With PTSD your brain continues to react with excessive fear and nervousness after you have experienced or witnessed trauma or a terrifying event, even though that original trauma is over.

Trauma

Similarly, trauma can be the resultant effect of a physical or psychological event, producing a range of symptoms from headaches, lethargy and nausea to more psychological effects such as flashbacks, excessive anxiety, irritation, confusion, aggression and an inability to concentrate.

Psychosis

Psychosis is often described as a “loss of reality” or a “break from reality” because it makes you experience or believe things that aren’t real. It can change the way you think, act, feel or sense things. Psychosis can be very scary and confusing, and it can significantly disrupt your life.

Where to use mental health surveys

Following the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic and the blurring of the lines between the workplace, place of study and the home, during and following the many lockdowns, there has never been a greater need to assess people’s well-being.

Here’s some of the most likely environments where you might need to carry out a mental health survey…

Workplaces

From getting them to rate their levels of well-being and how well they’re coping with their workload, to examining how well they’re able to manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance. By running mental health surveys alongside other surveys, that you regularly check in on your staff with such as the employee pulse survey, you can get a better feel for how well they’re coping and any employees that might require extra support.

Similarly, with more of us operating under a hybrid working model, more niche questionnaires can be used to get staff thoughts on remote working and the return to work for those that are still working away from the office full-time.

Educational Settings

From schools to colleges and universities. Workplaces are not the only environments to see a rise in mental health issues. 94% of teachers have seen an increase in pupils displaying mental health issues, according to a survey from the YoungMinds mental health charity.

Whether they believe a pupil or student could be experiencing anxiety or suffering from cyberbullying, or alternatively struggling with an eating disorder or be self-harming. Whatever issue a pupil or student could be wrestling with, a mental health survey administered amongst teachers or directly to students themselves who are over the age of 18, could help to identify any problems and get support to where it’s most needed.

The use of mental health surveys could be extended to teachers too, to assess how well they are coping with the demands of their job and identify those who could benefit from additional support.

Care Settings

From a patient’s GP, social worker or health visitor to a psychologist, psychiatrist or a member of a community mental health team. Depending on a patient’s own individual circumstances, there could be a wide variety of different healthcare professionals involved in assessing their ongoing mental health.

From asking them questions related to the symptoms of mental health to questions about their lifestyle and family background. The mental health survey is a really valuable tool in the armoury of a professional trying to assess the severity of an individual’s condition.

In addition, to being used to assist with individual patient care, mental health surveys could also be used anonymously and in aggregate for research purposes, together with data collected from a range of other sources for the publication of reports.

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