Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Action for Happiness Says British People Don't Trust Each Other

From The Telegraph.
As Britain tries to start its Gross National Happiness campaign off on the right foot, The Telegraph reports that the initial results are not looking good. Action for Happiness, a nonprofit organization, says that the country may be heading for increased rates of depression and suicide due to the culture's desire for money instead of social connection and intrinsic value.

The organization bases many of these predictions on a new study that shows British people don't trust each other any more. Only around 30% of them trust most of their peers, compared to around 60% a half century ago. Since trust is a major component of social relationships, a lack of it may spell doom for the country's wellbeing.

Anthony Seldon, one of the group's members and headmaster of Wellington College, says that children need to be taught better values to prevent this sort of thing from taking root. He says, "If we don’t act now, in the future we are likely to see increased levels of adolescent suicide and mental illness, and a culture in which taking anti-depressant drugs is the norm."

Unfortunately, the article doesn't go into much detail about the actual study that found this 30% trust figure (and Action for Happiness's website is overwhelmed at the moment), but other recent studies of Britain have been more optimistic. I guess we'll have to wait for the full results.


  1. It really is sad that people trust each other less and less... And I feel it's not only just applicable solely to the UK... :(

  2. Yes, I think people in most urban areas can relate to feeling disconnected from the people around them. A lack of trust probably goes along with this.