Young Irish people take action to highlight Ireland's chronic mental health issues
Life & Style

Young Irish people take action to highlight Ireland's chronic mental health issues

THREE YOUNG Irish men are currently creating a documentary with the aim of tackling the social stigma that exists around mental health in Ireland. 

The documentary, entitled Our Mental Health,  is being produced by Cathal Murphy, Edvinas Maciulevicius and Billy Twohig who aim to explore the stories of young Irish people affected by mental illness.

As the three friends argue, mental health issues are often overlooked in Ireland.

Here are ten facts about mental health in Ireland:

1. Ireland has a serious self-harm problem

There are around 11,000 cases of deliberate self-harm cases omitted to hospital each year in Ireland, according to a report conducted by the country’s Health Service Executive.

2. Northern Ireland has the highest UK suicide rate

With an average of 16.5 suicides per 100,000 people, Northern Ireland is the United Kingdom’s most prevalent area for people taking their own lives. The Irish News reports that since 1998’s Good Friday agreement, more people died through suicide than were killed during the Troubles.

However, the number of suicides in Northern Ireland has dropped recently from 303 to 268.

3. Cork City has the highest level of suicides per Irish city

Cork has the highest level of suicide amongst Ireland’s main cities with a rate of 18 deaths per 100,000 people. This places it well above the national average of 12 deaths per 100,000 people.

The only other Irish city that exceeds national averages is Limerick, which sees 16 suicides per 100,000.

4. 250,000 NI residents need treatment at one time

According to Refine NI, 250,000 people in the country require mental health at any one time, with more than 20 per cent of young people suffering from depression by their 18th birthday.

5. Young Irish people are heavily affected by mental health issues

Research conducted by the Irish Royal College of Surgeons in 2013 discovered that one in five young Irish people aged between 19-24 were experiencing mental health issues. In addition, it is not just young adults affected as one in six 11-13 year olds stated that they were experiencing similar problems.

6. Irish men are more at risk than women

The rate of suicide in Ireland is four times higher amongst men than women, according to research conducted by RTE from 2000-2013. The figures show that male suicides at a rate of 19.1 per 100,000 people while the average for females sat at 4.5.

7. Seven per cent of young Irish people have attempted suicide 

According to research conducted by My World Survey, seven per cent of young Irish people aged between 17-25 have attempted suicide at least once in their life. The research, released in 2012, surveyed 8221 young Irish people and found alarming statistics with 35 per cent of young Irish people being outside the normal range for depression.

8. More young people take their own lives in Ireland than the rest of Europe 

According to a 2014 study, the rate of suicides among Irish people aged 15-19 is twice that of the European average

9. 2014 was a bad year for suicide 

In 2014, 486 suicides were recorded in Ireland

10. Mental health shouldn't be a taboo

One fifth of Irish people will experience depression at some stage in their lives, so it shouldn't be swept under the rug.

Watch the trailer for Our Mental Health here...