Mental Health in Ireland
According to Mental Health Ireland, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their life
Research from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland found that 1 in 5 people between the ages of 19 and 24 are suffering from some sort of mental disorder, with 19% having considered suicide at some point.
Even in children between the ages of 11 and 13, it was found that 1 in 6 will experience mental health difficulties.
Most common causing factors: trauma, substance abuse, loneliness/isolation, bullying and financial difficulties
In 2018 Mental Health Ireland surveyed a sample of the Irish population asking their own attitudes towards mental health and recovery. It was found that
On average, women have a lower wellbeing score than men
Younger people scored lower on the wellbeing scale than those who are older
Unemployed and full-time homemakers have a lower score than those in full-time or part-time employment
The majority of people (93%) reported that there are things we can do to improve our mental health and wellbeing. Most commonly cited tools by these people are:
Speaking to a family member/friend
Talking to a psychologist
Impact of covid-19 on mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected.
In Ireland, Maynooth University and Trinity College studied 1,000 people in March and April 2020 (during the initial restrictions) and found that 41% of respondents reported feeling lonely, 23% reported clinically meaningful depression, 20% reported clinically meaningful anxiety and 18% reported clinically meaningful post-traumatic stress.
A peer-reviewed study of 847 members of the public in Ireland between March and June 2020 (during restrictions) also found significant increases in depression, anxiety and stress compared to before restrictions.
At global level, healthcare workers are at added risk of mental health effects of Covid-19 , with up to 86% reporting feeling stressed with regard to changes in work environments
Impact of Covid-19 on Mental Health in Ireland: Evidence to Date (Kelly, 2020)
Mental Health in an Unequal World
The theme of the 2021 World Mental Health Day is “Mental Health in an Unequal World”.
This theme highlights the unequal access to mental health services across the world with between 75% to 95% of people with mental health challenges in low and middle income countries unable to access mental health services at all.
This theme further emphasizes the urgent need to close the huge gap in access to care for people with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities around the world
The Global Disability Inclusion stated that "we need to think much more broadly about the barriers to equity around mental health. We need to recognize for example the need to address injustices like poverty and barriers to employment, lack of legal rights like freedom to choose treatment, legal systems that discriminate against people with disabilities, and other stresses that we know are risk factors for poor mental health".
Mental Health in an Unequal World (Ireland)
According to a recent report by the Mental Health Commission (MHC) there is "an almost total absence" of community mental health services".
The absence of supports such as crisis houses, high-support hostels, specialist rehabilitative units and psychiatric intensive care units is impeding access to acute mental health beds across the country.
The report notes that Vision for Change – a strategic policy document for Irish mental health services published in 2006 – highlighted these gaps but that the issues have not been resolved in the intervening 14 years creating a substantial gap between people needing care and those with access to care.
According to WHO (2021) "increased investment is required on all fronts: for mental health awareness to increase understanding and reduce stigma; for efforts to increase access to quality mental health care and effective treatments; and for research to identify new treatments and improve existing treatments for all mental disorders".
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