Mere mortals: The state of politicians’ mental wellbeing and why it matters

Graphic showing circles in different shades of blue on a pale blue background and the faces of a caucasian man, african woman and native american woman
Apolitical Foundation, December 2023

“Politicians carry the world on their shoulders, but they’re mere mortals subject to the same human weaknesses as the rest of us.”

Apolitical Foundation interviewed and surveyed more than 150 politicians, academics, political leadership entrepreneurs and parties to find out the state of politicians’ mental wellbeing and how it can be supported.

Their report is an action-oriented addition to existing research and practice in the field studying politicians’ mental wellbeing. The intent of Apolitical is to tell the story of politicians’ mental wellbeing from around the world—why it matters, what influences it and what can be done to support leaders to function well in their job.

Findings include:

  • Politicians have lower mental wellbeing than emergency-service employees
  • It is a difficult but satisfying job
  • The stress of the job could impact decision-making and our democracies
  • Violence, harassment and financial barriers keep some aspiring leaders away
  • Mentoring, training and peer networks are at the top of politicians’ wish lists

Read the report

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