Mental health is measured by means of the mental health inventory 5 (MHI 5). The questions in the MHI 5 refer to how respondents were feeling in the 4 weeks prior to the interview. The MHI 5 is an international standard for measuring a person’s mental health and includes 5 questions.
1. Are you feeling very nervous?
2. Were you so depressed that nothing could cheer you up?
3. Did you feel calm and collected?
4. Did you feel down and depressed?
5. Did you feel happy?
The response categories are 'permanently', 'mostly', 'often', 'sometimes', 'rarely' and 'never'. For the positive questions (questions 3 and 5), the order of the response categories is 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and 0. For the negative questions (questions 1, 2 and 4), the reverse order applies. Subsequently, the scores of each respondent are calculated and multiplied by 4, resulting in a total score ranging from 0 (very unhealthy) to 100 (very healthy).
A score under 60 is classified as mentally unhealthy.
Life expectancy in good mental health is the number of years a person of a particular age is expected to live in good mental health. A score of 60 on the MHI 5 is the turning point.
The MHI 5 of the population aged 12 years and older is measured in the Health Survey. The Health Survey is a sample survey and therefore figures are subject to a margin of error. Figures on social strata for the years 2007 and 2008 were taken together to reduce the error margins.