Doing good? Altruism and wellbeing in an age of austerity

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Published: May 2012

It's often said that it's better to give than receive but did you know that this is actually backed up by research? The UK faces challenging and unstable times with volatile economic markets and job uncertainty. Many people say they feel too stressed and busy to worry about helping others or say they will focus on doing good deeds when they have more ‘spare time’ but the evidence shows that helping others is beneficial forpeople’s mental health and wellbeing. It can help:

  • reduce stress  
  • improve emotional wellbeing
  • benefit physical health
  • bring a sense of belonging and reduce isolation
  • get rid of negative feelings

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week 2012, we have produced a report highlighting the impact that helping others has on people's mental health and wellbeing, following a public survey which showed that people believe society has become more selfish.