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Why use WEMWBS?

Since its development, WEMWBS has been widely adopted and successfully used in a wide range of settings.

WEMWBS has been used [.. ] in evaluations to measure the impact of policies; […that] helps to make the case next time around on either scaling or broadening the intervention. It can fill that space between measures which are about quality of life and... measures which are purely about anxiety and depression...and I think that's really where it has its strength.'' - UK Civil Servant

The scales support positively focused interventions and all items inquire about positive aspects of mental health. As a result, the scales are well received by study participants, service users, and practitioners. Feedback from mental health service users and carers demonstrates a preference for WEMWBS over other mental health scales.


Key benefits of WEMWBS include:

  • Widely used and valid in a range of settings including:
    • public health - for monitoring population mental wellbeing and evaluating mental health improvement programmes.
    • workplaces (including in occupational health), schools and colleges, local authorities and communites e.g. evaluating work of NGOs and charities.
    • clinical settings, particularly where the promotion of strengths, assets and recovery are important.
  • Covers key aspects of psychological functioning : optimism, autonomy, agency, curiosity, clarity of thought and positive relationships; and positive affect (feelings): confidence, feeling relaxed, cheerful, having the energy to spare. (N.B. SWEMWBS, the 7 item scale, has a narrower coverage with more focus on psychological functioning).
  • Facilitates a better understanding of mental wellbeing at both an individual and organisational level.
  • Can offer greater credibility for mental wellbeing and help drive positive action and change.
  • Enables comparison of different types of intervention and programmes to improve mental health and wellbeing.
  • Can be used with whole populations and with targeted groups.
  • The scales are used internationally and valid translations are available in a wide range of languages.