Zimbabwe Climbs to Third in Africa for Mental Well-Being, Surpassing Kenya

March 14, 2024
Zimbabweans 1200x676 | Report Focus News
Zimbabweans 1200x676

In a remarkable turn of events, Zimbabwe has been named the third country in Africa for best mental well-being, surpassing Kenya, while Tanzania and Nigeria have taken the top spots, respectively. This comes from the latest findings in the “Mental State of the World” report for March 2024, an exhaustive annual study conducted by the Global Mind Project, under the auspices of Sapien Labs.

Sapien Labs, in their fourth annual report, has collated responses from over half a million individuals across 71 countries, making it one of the most comprehensive assessments of global mental health to date. The study’s innovative approach involves the use of the Mental Health Quotient (MHQ), a detailed web-based tool that anonymously evaluates a wide range of mental health aspects. These include symptoms of major psychiatric disorders as well as the positive facets of mental functioning, thus providing a holistic view of an individual’s mental state.

The MHQ assessment encompasses six dimensions of mental health: temperament and outlook, social self, drive and motivation, resilience and fortitude, cognition, and the mind-body connection. It’s these multifaceted scores that have placed Zimbabwe in a position of prominence in the realm of mental well-being in Africa.

Tanzania leads the African continent with an impressive MHQ score of 88, with Nigeria following closely with a score of 83. Zimbabwe proudly holds the third position with a commendable score of 74. This ranking is particularly significant, considering the array of economic challenges the country currently faces, including high living costs, soaring unemployment rates, rampant inflation, and the lingering effects of a contentious election in 2023.

This positive development is in stark contrast to Zimbabwe’s previous standings in global happiness and mental well-being indices. In 2022, the country was placed near the bottom of the global happiness chart, ranking 144th out of 146 countries in the World Happiness Report. Moreover, in the subsequent 2023 report, Zimbabwe was deemed the fourth unhappiest country globally, trailing behind Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone.

The surprising uplift in Zimbabwe’s mental well-being ranking amidst economic adversity highlights a complex interplay of resilience, cultural factors, and possibly adaptive coping mechanisms within the Zimbabwean populace. It also brings to the forefront the crucial role of mental health assessments in understanding the well-being of nations beyond economic and material indicators, with Finland continuing to hold its position as the happiest country in the world.

This latest report from the Global Mind Project underscores the dynamic and multifaceted nature of mental well-being, offering a beacon of hope and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, particularly in places like Zimbabwe where, despite facing significant hardships, the people have managed to find pathways to mental strength and positivity.