Press Release

Minister O’Malley launches Mental Health Awareness and Attitudes Survey January/February 2007

Mr Tim O’Malley T.D., Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children today (Thursday 26th April 2007) launched the Mental Health Awareness and Attitudes Survey January/February 2007 which was conducted by Millward Brown IMS and commissioned by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.

The Minister said that the objective of the survey was to obtain a comprehensive view of attitudes to mental health among the Irish adult population.  The findings of this research will be used by the National Office for Suicide Prevention to develop a public health awareness campaign as recommended in “Reach Out” the National Strategy on Suicide Prevention.

The Minister referred to findings of the survey which reveal that there is still considerable stigma attached to mental health problems.  Survey results also indicate that the prevalence of mental health problems was significantly underestimated by the respondents to the survey.  Suicide, alcoholism, depression were considered the most important mental health/mental health related problems that need to be addressed in Ireland.

The Minister referred to “Reach Out” – A National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention 2005-2014 and said “a fundamental aim of this strategy is to prevent suicidal behaviour including deliberate self-harm, and to increase awareness of the importance of good mental health among the general population”.

The Minister said “I am committed to the provision of quality care in the area of mental health, to upholding the civil and human rights of those who suffer from mental illness and to encouraging measures aimed at combating the stigma that is often associated with such illness.”

The Minister commended everyone involved in the compilation of the research survey and especially those from the National Office for Suicide Prevention for their commitment to increasing mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Read Minister O’Malley’s speech