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Brits have worst mental health in Europe, STADA Health Report 2022 reveals

HUDDERSFIELD, UK, 11 July 2022: More Brits than our neighbours in continental Europe feel we are in “very poor” mental health – with one in 20 of us feeling this way. Around one in six (17%) of adults in the UK believe they are generally in poor mental health, compared to one in 10 (11%) across Europe as a whole.


Mental health threatens to be a hidden epidemic. One in six Brits (17%) say they simply would never discuss their mental health with anyone, a figure exceeded only in Kazakhstan and Poland among the 15 countries participating in the STADA Health Report 2022 online survey of around 30,000 European adults on health-related issues. Brits were also the most reluctant of any of the 15 nationalities to seek professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist – only one in six (18%) would do, less than half the 40% average across Europe.


The STADA Report 2022 conducted by the parent group of medicines manufacturer Thornton & Ross explores current perceptions on health and health behaviours across Europe. 

It demonstrates radical changes in behaviours for those in the UK who are adapting to life in a post-pandemic landscape, alongside a cost-of-living crisis and an era of political disquiet. The huge consequences of the past 2 years have left a catastrophic mental health crisis that is affecting communities up and down the country.


Compared to their European counterparts, Brits are also shown to be much more flexible in their attitudes towards steps to reform the NHS and the wider health system. This includes adapting to COVID – 19 related health behaviours such as avoiding coughing in public, alongside more radical interventions including the increased use of virtual consultations and primary care responsibilities being transferred to community nurses and pharmacists.


Key findings include:

  • Digital consultations: Brits are more open to online treatment via video or the internet than most of their European counterparts, with 68% of UK respondents willing to try online treatment.
  • Pharmacy healthcare: Brits are more likely to trust pharmacists on health matters, with 68% of UK respondents providing a top 1 or 2 rating on a scale of 1 to 5 in regard to their trust in pharmacists.
  • Health System: One quarter of British adults (25%) believed the NHS coped “very well” with the pandemic, the joint highest national proportion along with the Dutch. And two-thirds (66%) of British people felt the population managed the pandemic well, more than in any of the other 14 participating countries.
  • Vaccines: Adults in the UK are keener than any other nationality in the STADA Health Report to receive vaccinations in their community pharmacies – 84% believe pharmacies must or at least should offer such a service.
  • Cough aversion: More than half (54%) of UK adults said they intend to make more effort to avoid people coughing and sneezing – versus a European average of 49%.
  • Cleaning: Half of Brits plan to increase their use of hand disinfectants (50%) and hand washing (49%), while 44% will take more care to clean surfaces where they eat and drink.

STADA’s Health Report also showed that the ongoing impact of the pandemic is being perceived differently by communities across the UK, with regional disparities evident. For instance, a higher proportion of respondents in the North of England, compared with the rest of the UK describe their mental health as poor (14% compared to the UK average of 11%). The report reinforces the need for the Government’s forthcoming Health Inequalities White Paper to include priorities that ensure everyone across the country has access to the support and solutions they need.

STADA CEO Peter Goldschmidt, comments: “Through the STADA Health Report, we aim to provide scientifically verified data to stimulate debates around healthcare trends and needed actions to further support the invaluable work done every day by our trusted partners, physicians, hospitals, pharmacists and governments, for patients”.

Read the full STADA Health Report 2022 to find out more about how health attitudes and behaviours in the UK have changed as a result of the pandemic and how they compare to other countries across Europe:

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Last Updated: 14-Jul-2022