Home Mental Health & Well-Being Switzerland Revealed as Best Country for Mental Well-Being

Switzerland Revealed as Best Country for Mental Well-Being

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With one out of every two people in the world reported to develop a mental health disorder at some point in their life, prioritising mental well-being has never been more critical. But maintaining positive mental well-being is easier to do in some locations than others.

For people wondering where they can find the best balance, the health experts at Compare the Market AU have investigated how countries across the globe rank for six different factors, including the number of available psychiatrists, health expenditure, happiness, and work-life balance.

Overall, Switzerland has been revealed as the best country and ranks highest for the number of available psychiatrists. Switzerland is also investing the second-largest amount of money in mindful healthcare, just behind the US ($18,256) at $16,083.

Taking second place is Finland, which ranks highest for green space and happiness. Coming in third is Norway, with the second-lowest alcohol consumption at an average of 7.14 liters per year per capita. It’s also the country investing the third largest amount of money in health expenditure, at $12,019 per capita.

Countries at the bottom of the ranking, however, include Croatia, with a total score of just 1.62, Poland (2.08), and Portugal (2.29).

Delving further into the research findings, the study also revealed the best countries overall for work-life balance. Italy takes the top spot, with 16.5 hours devoted to leisure and personal care daily. France (16.2 hours) and Spain (15.8 hours) followed.

The countries investing the most in healthcare

By investing money in mental health, governments can gradually decrease the stigma around it. This is excellent, as the stigma associated with mental health can prevent people who are suffering from seeking the help and support that they need. Some international research suggests that, on average, around 10–12% of all healthcare spending can be attributable to mental health issues.

So, it’s great to see countries like Switzerland and the US spending nearly AU$20,000 (per capita) on healthcare ($16,083 and $18,256, respectively), of which a portion would be directly contributed to mental healthcare.

Tips for improving your mental health

1. Seek therapy

Therapy is a great way to manage your mental health, as you’ll have access to a trained psychologist who can help reduce any negative thoughts and change how you approach situations. Speaking to someone is so important, especially someone who can give you the tools to take positive steps for your mental health.

2. Reducing alcohol intake

Alcohol causes chemical changes in your brain that can transform into negative feelings like sadness, anger, anxiety, and depression. If you notice feeling down after drinking, swap your favourite brand of gin for a non-alcoholic version or a can of soft drink. There are so many alternatives these days that you can enjoy the taste of alcohol without the negative, and potentially damaging, side effects!

3. Practise mindful meditation

Set an alarm on your phone to practise mindful meditation every day. This will have a huge impact on your state of mind. But what is mindful meditation? It can be as simple as stretching your body and completing breathing exercises. And it’s effective because it gives your mind a break from the potential chaos that enters your everyday life. There are great, free apps out there you can use to help with this, such as Mind and Headspace.

4. Take greener holidays

With green space seemingly having a big impact on our mental health, as proven by our findings, your next break should be somewhere filled with parks, lakes, or even forestry!

5. Get plenty of Vitamin D

Vitamin D does wonders for the immune system and introduces happy hormones to our body. For this reason, it’s important to ensure your vitamin D levels are high enough.

Travel to a sunny country, which could even be one of our best mental health countries. Alternatively, take vitamin D supplements to keep your brain happy.

6. Allow yourself a break

The mind can get carried away with the now and prevent us from planning for the future. But mental health worsens when you’ve not taken a break. So whether you want a weekend away in Sydney, a flight over to New Zealand, or just a day off doing nothing, make sure you allow time to do that. Sit down, make a list of the places you want to go, and check your calendar for your availability.

7. Do some form of exercise everyday

Exercising every day helps your mental health. But this does not mean you need to go on a run; take slow walks on your lunch break or go swimming as an alternative. Do everything at your own pace and enjoy the benefits that come with it.

Commenting on the research, Lana Hambilton, head of health insurance at Compare the Market AU, says: “With awareness of mental well-being more prevalent than ever and the pressures of everyday life ever-present, it’s important to take care of yourself and those around you by dedicating time to self-care and making sure you have an appropriate private health insurance policy in place to support your well-being and finances should you ever need to seek medical support or treatment.”

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