Happiness is at the heart of the latest annual report of Brighton and Hove’s director of public health Tom Scanlon.
And Rottingdean looks like the place to be if you want a happy life. More than eight out of ten people living in the Rottingdean Coastal council ward who took part in a survey last year reported being happy.
In Brunswick and Adelaide the figure was nearer six out of ten and across Brighton and Hove it was just above seven out of ten, close to the national average.
Dr Scanlon’s report, Happiness – the Eternal Pursuit, with its echo of the United States Declaration of Independence, looks at sex and drugs and alcohol.
It also analyses the effects of smoking and physical activity on our happiness and touches on inequality, social inclusion and depression.
His deputy Peter Wilkinson gave a presentation about the report and its findings to the Brighton and Hove Strategic Partnership on Tuesday (25 June).
Unusually in a meeting of the great and the good in Brighton and Hove, Dr Wilkinson was warmly applauded after he finished.
His conclusions were
- Levels of wellbeing and happiness vary considerably across Brighton and Hove
- Drink, drugs, smoking and unsafe sex are all linked with lower levels of happiness
- Mental wellbeing is steady but certain previously unidentified groups were at greater risk
- Young children are drinking less but students are at risk as are some older people
- Well-off people are now as likely to drink too much as the poor
- Fewer people are dying after a drug overdose and drugs linked to clubbing have become more popular
- Obesity is increasingly linked to deprivation
- Gay men under 25 suffer the most sexual infections especially after drinking or taking drugs
- Policy-makers, the NHS and other public bodies could help improve people’s health by addressing their happiness and wellbeing
The full report can be read online here.
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