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National Indicator: Mental Wellbeing

This national indicator is currently being reported on the new national performance website and can be found here: https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/measuring-progress/national-indicator-performance


l Improve mental wellbeing

Indicator Measure
Mental wellbeing derived from average score on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) of adults aged 16+ years

Current Status
The mean score fell from 51.0 in 2006 to 50.0 in 2008, and has remained at a similar level since (ranging between 49.7 and 50.0).

NI 20 - Graph

Source: From 2008 onwards, the Scottish Health Survey. For 2006, the 'Well? What Do You Think?' Survey
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 3 October 2017
Next Update: September 2018

Improve mental wellbeing

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

Mental health is a priority issue. We want to live in a Scotland where we all understand that there is no health without good mental health. Mental wellbeing can be a key factor in determining physical wellbeing. It can also influence social circumstances such as employment, family relationships and community participation. Addressing mental wellbeing is, therefore, a consideration in a range of government objectives. Mental health issues are often particularly acute with those on the margins of society and need to be tackled to improve progress on social inclusion objectives. Conversely, mental wellbeing is also influenced by a range of social factors, so is a reasonable indicator of broad government performance.

What will influence this National Indicator?

There are a number of factors pertinent to mental wellbeing:

  • Employment and income can improve social position and a sense of control over life situations
  • Problem-coping and solving skills can improve sense of control and alleviate anxiety
  • Physical health can influence ability to undertake life tasks including employment
  • Self-respect and esteem can allow a positive outlook on life situations
  • The quality of the physical and social environment can influence the sense of control and support networks to individuals
  • Access to good quality services can help to build improved strategies for coping and getting on with life

What is the Government's role?

We are working with local authorities, health boards and a range of other public, private and voluntary service delivery organisations to improve the quality of life and social inclusion of those who experience mental health problems. This is achieved by: providing access to facilities/amenities; providing support; reducing discrimination and prejudice; and helping individuals to enter or stay in employment. Action on a broad range of government priorities such as education, infrastructure and the environment can also help to improve quality of life and wider mental wellbeing.

How is Scotland performing?

The mean Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) score in 2016, at 49.8, changed by 0.1 compared to 2015 (49.9) and has shown little change since 2008.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

A significantly higher proportion of men than women meet the physical activity recommendations.  Physical activity is highly associated with age and area based deprivation, with activity levels declining as age and deprivation increase.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

This evaluation is based on: any annual change in the mean WEMWBS score within +/- 0.4 of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 0.4 or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 0.4 or more suggests the position is worsening. Changes resulting from the improved recording of unknown destinations were also taken into account in this evaluation.

The threshold of 0.4 point chosen is based on an assessment of the data available at this time, and may need to be reviewed as more information becomes available in the future.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities

NHS Scotland

Scottish Recovery Network

See Me Scotland

Related Strategic Objectives


Safer and Stronger


Wealthier and Fairer

View National Indicator Data

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Title:Improve mental wellbeing
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