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Sunday 22 January 2017

Mental health and wellbeing must be valued in society

Shari McDaid

Published 14/11/2015 | 02:30

Reducing poverty is one way to deal with mental health issues
Reducing poverty is one way to deal with mental health issues

On average, people in Ireland have good mental health and wellbeing. That's what the national health survey found when it asked adults questions such as how much they felt 'full of life', were 'calm and peaceful', 'had lots of energy', and had been a 'happy person' in the previous month.

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And when asked about difficulties like feeling 'downhearted and blue' or being a 'very nervous person', only one in 10 adults were found to have a likely mental health problem. This is good news and shows that, despite the stresses of recent years, many people are coping well.

Averages don't tell the full story, however. Some people are more at risk of poor mental health than others. For example, while 19pc of men were found to have the best possible mental health, only 12pc of women said the same. People living in a deprived area had worse mental health, with 13pc reporting signs of a mental health difficulty, while only 5pc of people living in a non-deprived area had a difficulty.

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