The Manx public are invited to take part in an Island-wide survey which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the whole population.
Initially 7,000 households chosen at random will be invited to participate in the latest Health and Lifestyle Survey, before it is opened to everyone from 18 March.
Results from the survey provide vital information for Public Health teams, offering an overview to guide spending decisions on future health improvement initiatives. Questions are designed so they feed into projects in areas such as mental health, active travel and workplace wellbeing as well as tobacco, alcohol and substance misuse. Data from the survey will also be used to compare the Isle of Man with other jurisdictions.
Letters will be sent to a representative cross-section of the population this week, requesting that one adult in each household completes the survey online, a process which should take around 30 minutes. Addresses have been chosen at random using a publicly available database. All answers will remain completely anonymous and no link will be made between information given and specific households.
The survey stems directly from the Programme for Government aspiration that people are helped to live longer, healthier lives and encouraged to take greater responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.
Director of Public Health Dr Henrietta Ewart said:
'The survey is a vital tool to assess health outcomes and to shape our health improvement work in the future. We last conducted this survey in 2017 so will be looking to see if there have been significant changes in the population's health, wellbeing and lifestyle choices, two years on.
'The responses will show how far our work is having a positive impact on people's health and helps us measure outcomes. Those taking part in the survey can be assured their input really does assist in planning for the future. The Department of Health and Social Care needs robust evidence in order to set relevant, achievable policy and goals – and the survey gives us that. We appreciate the time and effort people will spend filling in the survey – they can be sure they're making a genuine contribution to decision-making, ultimately for the public good.'
This year's large-scale survey extends to the whole population on 18 March, when anyone who would like to participate can do so. The survey seeks a wider input in this way every three years, with interim surveys focusing on specific topic areas.
Paper copies of the survey will be made available to those initially invited to respond, if required.
The survey opens to the wider public on 18 March, when a web link will be publicised and paper copies made available at libraries around the Island and from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal in Douglas.
Anyone seeking further information can call the advice line: +44 1624 642639