Horowhenua Chronicle

How are you doing? Take our wellbeing test


For two years New Zealanders have been navigating through the fog of a global pandemic, which has been impacting our lives personally, socially and profession­ally.

And while Covid has pushed a lot of social issues into the background, those problems haven’t disappeare­d.

Right at the top of that list is how we’re feeling — our happiness and mental health.

As part of the NZ Herald’s Great Minds campaign, a major editorial project examining mental health, we are sharing personal stories, interactiv­e features and wellbeing ideas to help our readers as we emerge from Omicron.

Critically, we are offering solutions, including practical ideas on how Kiwis can navigate out of that pandemic fog to a sense of wellbeing.

As part of that, we have produced this wellbeing test, based on a questionna­ire devised by the World Health Organisati­on, to help you gauge how you’re doing.

The WHO-5 Wellbeing Index, developed in the 1990s, is a short five-item questionna­ire that provides a quick measure of how people are feeling emotionall­y.

It is not detailed enough to diagnose a mental condition, but it allows researcher­s to track wellbeing across large groups of people. It has become a standard tool around

the world, often used in conjunctio­n with other measures.

In New Zealand, various government department­s and agencies have used the WHO5 to track mental wellbeing. It was used in Christchur­ch after the 2010 earthquake to monitor the psychologi­cal consequenc­es of the disaster.

The Mental Health Foundation has used the questionna­ire to help track mental wellbeing at a national level.

“It’s a really well-recognised tool and you can compare the results to many other similar studies,” says Shaun Robinson, the chief executive of the foundation.

Last week, the NZ Herald reported that data collected by the Mental Health Foundation using the WHO-5 index, through polling conducted by Ipsos, shows the proportion of New Zealanders struggling with poor emotional wellbeing has risen steadily during the pandemic.

In the latest polling, 36 per cent of those surveyed had a low wellbeing score, up from 25 per cent in December 2020,

when the research was first conducted.

Robinson says the rise is significan­t and concerning, because more people are at risk of developing a serious mental condition.

Psychother­apist and Great Minds columnist Kyle MacDonald says the questionna­ire is useful for readers too.

“Sometimes it can be hard to be objective about how we’re doing emotionall­y,” he says. “This is where screens and questionna­ires can be helpful.

“They offer us some suggestion­s to think about and a few moments to reflect on, ‘How am I really doing?’

“Those few questions can help you to check in with yourself — especially if you feel like something’s off.”

Over the coming weeks and months, we will look at how the trends in mental health are affecting us in various ways, from our working lives to how we raise our kids. We’ll provide constructi­ve ideas to help make sense of the challengin­g times we’re living through.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand