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Mental wellness – a $121 billion market

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) recently released its latest research report, ‘Defining the Mental Wellness Economy’, which is the first ever research to measure mental wellness as a global industry and to identify and benchmark its key sub-segments.

The in-depth (115-page) report finds that the global mental wellness economy is worth $120.8 billion, based on consumer spend in four markets: senses, spaces and sleep ($49.5 billion), brain-boosting nutraceuticals & botanicals ($34.8 billion), self-improvement ($33.6 billion), and meditation and mindfulness ($2.9 billion).

Mental wellness has becomes a new ‘industry bubble’ in the GWI’s Global Wellness Economy framework, capturing a crucial set of economic activities not previously included in the organisation’s wellness economy measurements.

“Stress, loneliness and burnout were already exploding pre-pandemic, and a stronger focus on mental wellness has been a cultural mega-shift these last few years. People are awakening to the importance of integrative solutions including meditation, sleep and brain health, with businesses rushing in to offer all kinds of solutions. But mental wellness as a concept, and what constitutes it as an industry, has remained incredibly fuzzy,” said Ophelia Yeung, GWI senior research fellow.

“Clarifying what it is, and delineating its business segments, is overdue. And while most mental wellness strategies are free – like spending time in nature or with friends – people increasingly seek non-clinical help in coping with everyday mental challenges, and that’s where the mental wellness industry comes in.”

Katherine Johnston, GWI senior research fellow, added: “There is urgency to this research as study after study shows how the human suffering and economic dislocations caused by the pandemic have ravaged our mental wellbeing”

The GWI defines mental wellness as ‘an internal resource that helps us think, feel, connect, and function. It is an active process that helps us to build resilience, grow, and flourish’.

The report provides a comprehensive paradigm for understanding the difference between ‘mental health’ and ‘mental wellness’. The authors propose a ‘dual continuum model’, in which mental wellness is a dynamic process of moving from languishing, to resilience, to flourishing. Key strategies for mental wellness fall into four pathways: activity and creativity; growth and nourishment; rest and rejuvenation; and connection and meaning.

To read more about the report click here

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