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01st Jun 2018

It’s time we started paying more attention to mental health and this survey proves why

The stats will shock you, but there's always a way we can help.


Brought to you by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services.

It’s estimated that one in four of us will experience some sort of mental health issue in our lifetime.

So if it’s not us, it’s bound to at least be one of our family or close friends that finds themselves with a mental health issue. These can range from experiencing a low or going through a very sad period in life, to experiencing severe mental health problems like paranoia, bipolar disorder or feeling suicidal.

In a survey of 500 Irish people, 64 percent said they believed that being treated for mental health is seen as a sign of personal failure, while 73 percent believe society has a different view of those who’ve received in-patient care for mental health difficulties.

Considering the high number of us that are statistically bound to experience mental health difficulties and low periods, it only adds to the fact that being dismissive or judgemental isn’t fair or constructive at all.

The study (by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services) also revealed the significant amount of shame that’s attached to mental health issues. Even when it comes to work and family life, 31 percent stated they wouldn’t feel comfortable telling their boss if they needed time off due to mental health difficulties. Thirty-eight percent of people wouldn’t tell their partner if they are currently taking anti-depressants, while 36 percent said they wouldn’t tell their partner if their child was being treated for depression.

RTE star Bláthnaid Treacy, Dancing with the Stars’ Karen Byrne, social media sensation James Patrice and renowned Dancing with the Stars judge Brian Redmond launch ‘A Single Step Leads to the Biggest Change’. For further information, check out (Image: Marc O’Sullivan)

It’s clear there’s still a significant amount of stigma attached to mental health, and that’s why St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is taking steps (literally) to bring further awareness and help remove any shame surrounding the issue.

As part of their #ASingleStep campaign, they’re calling on everyone – yes you! – to start spreading a positive outlook on mental health by taking some simple (dancing) steps and sharing them online using the hashtag above. An ol’ jig, some salsa, a little waltz – it’s entirely up to you, and already there are some familiar faces on board.

Dancing with the Stars host Bláthnaid Treacy, dancing professional Karen Byrne, DWTS judge Brian Redmond and social media sensation, James Patrice, have already started championing their support!

If there’s someone at home, a friend, or even yourself that needs support right now however, there are steps entirely worth taking in order to catch a break, and slowly take the time needed to get better.

1. Talk To Your GP

Your GP is aware of your medical history and so is probably best suited to suggesting a positive course of action for you to take.

2. Talk About It

It can be incredibly difficult to talk about mental health, considering the stigma that many still attach to it. However, talking to a family member, a trust-worthy friend or contacting St Patrick’s confidential Support and Information Service can give you the comfort and reassurance that’s needed.

Contact them on 01 249 3333 or email [email protected]

3. Learn More About Mental Health and Awareness

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ awareness and education campaign named Walk in My Shoes provides free downloadable resources to the community, colleges and schools throughout the country. Definitely worth taking a look at.

4. Ask For Help

There’s absolutely no shame in asking for help. Your GP or St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ Support and Information team can suggest a service that you’re most likely to benefit from and begin the journey to great mental health.

Brought to you by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services – Ireland’s largest independent not-for-profit mental health service provider.