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Which area of London is the most anxious? Where do people report feeling the most depressed? By looking at data from Babylon’s Healthcheck — a digital tool that provides an assessment of your current and future state of health, based on answers to clinically designed questions — we can see that those living north of the river are more likely to be stressed and anxious; while women and Londoners aged 18-30 are more likely to report having depression, anxiety, stress and lower self-esteem.

More than 12,000 of you took the mental health assessment in Healthcheck, and the anonymised data makes for revealing reading.

If you are struggling with symptoms then it’s always important to seek support from your GP or a healthcare professional rather than try to cope alone.

But if you’re considering strategies to try to proactively manage and become more aware of your mental wellbeing, you might try these approaches to some of London’s most reported issues.

The stress test

Croydon, Enfield and Hackney have the most low self-esteem. Wandsworth, Kensington and Chelsea and Lambeth suffer least.

“Self-esteem is confidence in yourself and your abilities and it’s easy for it to get knocked,” Dr Vohra says, noting the impact of social media: “Now we get daily updates from anyone around the world, including celebrities, and it’s easy to feel lacking.”

If you’re scrolling yourself into a cycle of compare and despair, Dr Vohra suggests muting or unfollowing accounts that make you feel negative, adding: “Use social media as a source of inspiration instead. Follow accounts that are completely out of your circle and show you something new. There’s nothing to be gained from constant comparison.”

The sleep survey Are you getting enough shut-eye? People in Redbridge have the most difficulty falling asleep, Haringey people have some of the most broken sleep and people in Hackney sleep the most.

Sleep problems include struggling to get to sleep, staying asleep, or getting up too early, notes Dr Vohra.

“Ensure you have a good and consistent sleep routine — no screens an hour before bed, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even at weekends,” she says.

And have your last caffeinated drink at lunchtime.

Behind the Data

More than 12,000 Londoners who use Babylon Healthcheck to assess their wellbeing completed the mental health assessment.

The results below show the percentage of a borough’s population who had poor scores.

A higher percentage suggests a higher incidence of an issue.

Anxiety

Respondents were asked to complete a questionnaire that indicated if they were at risk of high generalised anxiety.

Questions included: “Over the last two weeks, how often have you felt nervous or on edge?”

Worst: Croydon (37%), Hounslow (35%), Redbridge (34%), Bromley (34%) and Enfield (33%)

Best: Merton (22%), Kensington and Chelsea (23%), Lambeth (23%), Richmond (25%), Wandsworth (25%)

Depression

Respondents were asked a series of questions designed to help reveal their mood.

Questions included: “In the last two weeks, how often have you had little interest or pleasure in doing things?”

Worst: Brent (33%), Croydon (31%), Enfield (31%), Waltham Forest (31%), Bromley (30%)

Best: Merton (18%), Lambeth (19%), Richmond (19%), Wandsworth (21%), Camden (21%)

Low self-esteem

Respondents completed a questionnaire which indicated whether they might have low self-esteem.

Questions included: “Do you sometimes feel useless?”

Worst: Brent (14%), Croydon (14%), Hackney (14%), Waltham Forest (14%), Southwark (14%)

Best: Kensington and Chelsea (5%), Lambeth (9%), Richmond (9%), Wandsworth (9%), Camden (10%)

Stress

Respondents were asked questions to help reveal their stress levels. Questions included: “In the last month, how often have you felt that you were unable to control important things in your life?”

Worst: Hounslow (35%), Enfield (32%), Haringey (30%), Ealing (29%), Waltham Forest (29%)

Best: Lambeth (21%), Kensington and Chelsea (22%), Richmond (22%), Camden (22%), Merton (22%)

Exercise

Respondents were asked about how much exercise they did at both a moderate and a vigorous level. 

NHS guidelines suggest doing at least 150 minutes moderate physical activity or 75 minutes vigorous activity a week, or an equivalent combination.

Worst: Hounslow (42% met the NHS guidelines), Croydon (42%), Redbridge (43%), Brent (44%), Barnet (45%)

Best: Richmond (60%), Lambeth (58%), Hackney (58%), Kensington and Chelsea (57%), Islington (56%)


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