Mental Health Affects Hopefulness for Nation’s Future

No AddressAlthough known for a can-do and resourceful attitude, Americans seem to have lost their reputation for hopefulness for the nation. Statistics from the Pew Research Center revealed that at least two-thirds of Americans expect the country to become economically weaker and less important globally, as well as more politically divided.

In a 2023 Wall Street Journal-NORC survey of more than 2,000 citizens, results showed that more than 80 percent expect the lives of their children’s generation will not look as good as their own. While as many as 82 percent still hold high hopes for their own personal lives, families, and communities, beyond those smaller circles, hope drops considerably. Just over half of Americans express hope for the future of the country and not even half believe that significant progress can occur in some of the larger social and global challenges in the years ahead.

When an individual self identifies with good mental health, they also seem to have hope for the futures. However, those that self-identify with poor mental health have much lower rates of hope. Since mental health issues reduce social trust and inhibit behaviors that promote flourishing, mental health seems to strongly impact an individual’s vision of the future or the progress of the nation.

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