81% of Germans are happy but keep quiet about their feelings: New study for Mental Health Week 2023

In the run-up to Mental Health Week 2023 a study by REDEZEIT FÜR DICH and Appinio shows that while 81% of Germans describe themselves as generally happy, 41% rarely talk about their mental stress. Despite the high perception of happiness, the study also shows a social stigma around mental health. One silver lining: 67% are open to digital help services. The message is clear: it is time to break the silence and raise awareness about mental health.

The results of the study reflect a profound social trend that has become increasingly evident in recent years: although 81% of respondents say they are happy overall, many are reluctant to talk about their mental distress. This silence might be influenced by the social stigma still attached to mental illness and mental distress.

In many cultures, including Western ones, individuals are expected to show strength and hide their weaknesses or emotional burdens. This can make people who need help reluctant to seek it or talk about their problems. This could indicate that traditional support networks, such as family and friends, are not always used as a resource for talking about mental distress. Accordingly, many families and circles of friends may lack the necessary tools or understanding to have such conversations.

An encouraging result of the study is that 67 % of the respondents can imagine using online offers for support with mental stress. This indicates that digital solutions are becoming increasingly important in the field of mental health care.

Another notable point is that although many people find talking helpful in reducing psychological distress, 56% of respondents feel that their psychological distress is "not severe enough" to seek help.

"The impressive life satisfaction of many respondents contrasts with the reluctance to talk about mental stress. It is time to recognise this discrepancy and take action," says Florian Schleinig, co-founder and CEO of REDEZEIT FÜR DICH. "It is crucial that we as a society have the courage to talk about mental health and make sure that everyone who needs help gets it."

"This study highlights the need to raise awareness of mental health and reduce the stigma associated with it. At Appinio, we strongly believe that digital solutions and open communication can pave the way to better mental health care. We want to make this visible with this study," says Constanze Schumann-Plekat, Team Lead Marketing DACH at Appinio.

The most important results at a glance:

  • General feeling of happiness: 81% of respondents feel generally happy, regardless of age and gender.

  • Talking as a relief: Both men (66%) and women (65%) agree that talking helps to reduce mental stress.

  • Communication about mental stress: The majority (41.6%) talk about their mental stress at least rarely, with 18% never doing so. For men it is 21%, for women 15%.

  • Childhood communication: Only 28% of respondents say that their parents talked to them about emotional distress during their childhood/adolescence, while 32% say that their friends did. Interestingly, men (35%) experienced this more often than women (30%).

  • Desire for open communication: Respondents would like to see more openness in dealing with mental stress in the family (49%), in partnerships (48%) and in society (67%). Women (70%) wish for this more than men (64%).

  • Use of support services: 27% of men and women have already used support services. 67% can imagine using online support services for emotional distress, with agreement varying by age group (16-24 year olds: 64%, 25-34 year olds: 70%, 35-44 year olds: 76%, 45-54 year olds: 70%, 55-65 year olds: 53%).

  • Most popular offers of help: The top 5 are therapy (82%), talking to friends and family (59%), going to the doctor (54%), counselling (51%) and coaching (28%).

  • Reasons against using help services: 56% feel that their mental distress is not severe enough, with women (59%) feeling this way more often than men (53%).

  • Reaction to the use of help offers: Only 2% would view it negatively if someone made use of a help offer for mental stress. Women (43%) see this more positively than men (28%).

  • Positive aspects of making use of help offers: Respondents appreciate it when someone faces their fears (63%), actively seeks help (58%) and has the courage to talk about it publicly (57%). There are hardly any differences here between men and women.

Insight into the study result: https://research.appinio.com/#/en/survey/public/gXBpq9XKW

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About Appinio

Appinio is a global market research platform that stands for innovative and uncomplicated market research. The platform enables companies to quickly and efficiently survey specific target groups and obtain representative results in real time. Appinio delivers millions of opinions daily from 90+ markets for over 2,000 clients, including companies from the consumer goods, mobility and technology sectors, as well as all leading agencies and consultancies. The company was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Kurfess (Chairman), Max Honig (CEO) and Kai Granaß (CTO) and is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. Further information at www.appinio.com