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Healthy outlook: Wellbeing back to pre-pandemic levels, survey shows

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Levels of 'life satisfaction' and 'happiness' have improved between April and June of this year

Levels of 'life satisfaction' and 'happiness' have improved between April and June of this year

Levels of 'life satisfaction' and 'happiness' have improved between April and June of this year

The wellbeing of people in Northern Ireland has improved back to the same level as before the pandemic, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra), was carried out between April and June of this year on a random sample of more than 1,000 addresses.

People were asked 12 questions regarding their general levels of happiness, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance and given a overall score of between zero and 12 to gauge their wellbeing.

In the period from January to June, some 25% of respondents had a high score, which could indicate a possible mental health problem. This is significantly higher that most recent figure of 19% from 2019/20, contained in the Health Survey Northern Ireland.

However, the proportion of people with a high score has decreased from a high of 30% in January, to 19% between May and June.

Levels of 'life satisfaction' and 'happiness' have improved between April and June of this year, compared to the period between April 2020 and March 2021 - but 'life satisfaction' levels are still 'significantly' lower than the were before the pandemic.

Anxiety levels have also improved in recent months.

Regarding vaccines, just over a fifth of those aged 18 or over who were interviewed between April and June 2021 had not received their Covid jab. Over the same period, just over three quarters of unvaccinated people said they were likely to get it - while just under a quarter said they would not.

The news comes after Stormont's Health Committee was told vaccine uptake among the 18-29 age group was "incredibly slow". Last week it emerged that 18% of adults were yet to get their first jab, with vaccine centres for first jabs closing this week.

Worries about the side effects of the vaccine was the most common reason given by those who said the were unlikely to get the jab, accounting for 57% of respondents. Some 56% said they had worries about the vaccines long-term effects on their health, while half said they would wait to see how well the vaccine works and 44% said they did not think it was safe.


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