Mental health and mental illness are serious issues that affect many people worldwide. With the World Health Organisation stating that 264 million people are affected globally by depression, 45 million by bipolar disorder and 20 million by schizophrenia, it’s quite clear that it’s a worldwide issue that affects millions.
However, is the mental health situation in our own state being addressed sufficiently?
A survey conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) back in February revealed that almost six in 10 respondents believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health. Respondents were presented with three answers:
- Yes, it has been negatively affected
- Yes, it has been positively affected
- No, it has not been affected
Of the three answers, 57.1% of respondents selected ‘yes, it has been negatively affected’ while just over 4% selected ‘yes it has been positively affected.’
In regards to overall life satisfaction, 47.1% of respondents were categorised as having a low overall life satisfaction.
According to the CSO, this is the highest rate of lowest overall life satisfaction captured to date. In relation to suicides, the CSO revealed that in the year 2019, there were 421 deaths by suicide and intentional self-harm in the country.
However, this statistic appears to have neither significantly increased nor decreased as time progressed, with the Irish Times asking every coroner in the state to reveal how many files on suspected suicides in 2020 they had on hand.
Although many declined to provide data, several revealed that their data showed no greater increase in 2020 when compared to 2019 and 2018, with some suggesting a decrease.
When a majority of respondents report a low overall life satisfaction as well as their mental health being negatively affected by the pandemic, it makes one question if sufficient emphasis is placed on mental health services in the state.