Over 80 Per Cent of People Living in Ireland Believe That Mental Health is a Universal Human Right 

Infographic with the results of the survey

A national survey of 1,002 adults living in Ireland conducted on behalf of Mental Health Ireland by B&A for World Mental Health Day showed that 88 per cent of people agreed or strongly agreed that mental health is a universal human right.  

World Mental Health Day takes place on October 10th. Every year the World Federation for Mental Health sets a theme for World Mental Health Day, this year’s theme is ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’ highlighting that all the individuals have the right to the highest attainable standards of mental health.  

Mental Health Ireland’s mission is to promote and enhance mental health, wellbeing and recovery and to create a culture where people are respected and supported, especially when their mental health is challenged. The charity’s Strategy Mental Health for All: Hope, Strength & Action 2022-2024 envisions a society that is more inclusive and an Ireland where fairness and equity is a distinguishing hallmark.  

The survey showed that two thirds of people (67%) believe that Ireland is making positive steps towards having a more diverse and representative society. More than 80% of survey respondents believe diversity and representation can increase creativity and opportunities for development in our society.  

However, according to the survey, 1 in 8 people (13%) experience discrimination and 1 in 6 people (16%) feel they are limited in being able to get a job or keep one because of discrimination due to having mental or physical ill health.   

The survey showed that 3 in 5 people have personal lived experience of mental health challenges. While a quarter of people have experience of mental health challenges and in also supporting family members or friends.  

The findings also indicate that people with personal lived experience, and those with both personal and family or friend experience of mental health challenges are more affected than people who have no experience when it comes to their social inclusion. According to the survey, this includes housing and neighbourhood, social relationships, social participation and limitations, employment and education, and finance, for example, having enough income to cover basic needs and savings. 

A third (35%) of respondents feel they haven’t participated in any social or community activities for a long time, and a third of all adults find themselves unable to attend important events such as weddings or funerals because of lack of funds.  

Dr. Ronda Barron, Head of National Policy & Evaluation for Mental Health Ireland said: “The theme of World Mental Health Day this year, ‘mental health is a universal human right,’ has helped shed light on many of the challenges we face here in Ireland. Many of us are aware of our basic human rights but it is vitally important to recognise the connection between civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, whereby an infringement on one right may affect others.  

The preliminary findings of our survey show that Irish people value mental health as a universal human right and feel that diversity and representation in our society do have benefits. However, these findings also highlight many challenges being faced in education, finance, work and social relationships and inclusion. These findings highlight the fragilities that exist within our society and strengthen the message that human rights are co-dependent in the real-world context, and that solutions to these challenges must take an approach that considers these links.”  

Further details of the survey can be found at:  FULL WMHM SURVEY

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