Minister Wallace Publishes Mental Health and Social Well-being of the Irish Population Report
Ms Mary Wallace, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Health Promotion and Food Safety, today (24th February, 2009) published the results from the Mental Health and Social Well-being Report of the National Health and Lifestyle Survey (SLÁN 2007).
This report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children, is part of a series based on the main SLÁN 2007 survey which was carried out by a research consortium involving NUI, Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Economic and Social Research Institute, and University College Cork. Involving face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of 10,364 respondents, the study is the largest national survey to date on the extent of both positive and negative mental health and social well-being in the Irish adult population.
“We are very pleased to launch this report, which provides important national level data to guide policy and service development in promoting mental health improvement at a population level. Promoting and protecting population mental health contributes to the functioning of individuals, communities and society and reduces the social and economic burden of mental disorders”said Minister Wallace.
The research team from NUI, Galway was led by Professor Margaret Barry, Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre, and included Mr Eric Van Lente and Dr Michal Molcho, also from the Health Promotion Research Centre.
“This report provides the most comprehensive information to date on levels of positive mental health and mental health problems in the Irish adult population. The findings indicate that while the majority of people report reasonably high levels of positive mental health, respondents with low levels of education, low income, who are not in paid employment and have lower levels of social support, all experience poorer mental health. The findings also indicate the importance of good mental health for our physical health and well-being and underscore the need to implement the recommendations of the national mental health policy Vision for Change.” Professor Barry said on behalf of the team.