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A cross-sectional, face-to-face, community survey of mental health and deprivation in post-recession Ireland: a rising tide lifts all boats?

  • G. M. Sorin (a1), C. Darker (a2), L. Whiston (a3), A. O’Callaghan (a1), J. M. Barry (a2) and B. D. Kelly (a1)...



To assess community mental health in suburban Dublin in 2018, 5 years after Ireland’s economic recession ended.


A cross-sectional, face-to-face, household survey was conducted in a random cluster sample of 351 households in Tallaght, a deprived suburb of Dublin.


A majority of respondents (61.3%) reported stress over the previous 12 months, with a higher rate in areas of high (66.9%) compared to lower deprivation (55.5%). Deprivation was not related to rates of loneliness (20.2%), feeling depressed (20.2%), loss of interest (19.7%) or anxiety (22.5%). Mean score for positive mental health (59.3/100, with a higher score indicating better mental health) was lower than that reported in a national sample in 2007 (68/100); positive mental health was associated with not living with a person with chronic illness, self-identifying as ‘non-Irish’ and greater age. Mean score for psychological distress (76.7/100, with a higher score indicating less distress) was also lower than that in 2007 (82/100); less psychological distress was associated with not living with a person with chronic illness or disability, greater age and identifying as non-Irish. The rate of ‘probable mental illness’ over the previous 4 weeks (13.1%) was higher than in 2007 (7%).


Our findings emphasise the high prevalence of stress, especially in deprived suburban areas; the centrality of carer burden in determining mental wellbeing; and associations between positive mental health on the one hand and greater age and identifying as non-Irish on the other.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Professor Brendan D. Kelly, Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin 24, D24 NR0A, Ireland. (Email:


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A cross-sectional, face-to-face, community survey of mental health and deprivation in post-recession Ireland: a rising tide lifts all boats?

  • G. M. Sorin (a1), C. Darker (a2), L. Whiston (a3), A. O’Callaghan (a1), J. M. Barry (a2) and B. D. Kelly (a1)...


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