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  • Southside

Tallaght study reveals high levels of stress

Saturday, 26th January, 2019 9:00am
Tallaght study reveals high levels of stress
Tallaght study reveals high levels of stress

A RECENT post-recession study of Tallaght’s population has revealed high levels of stress across the community and particularly in deprived areas.

Commissioned by the Meath Foundation and presented at the annual Meath Research Symposium at Tallaght University Hospital, the study ‘Physical and Mental Health in Post-Recession Ireland: A Community Study from Tallaght, Dublin’ surveyed over 350 homes in the area.

The report found that while there were increased levels of public satisfaction with services at Tallaght University Hospital, a lack of mental health services was leading to increas-ing levels of stress and psychological ill health.

It found carer burden to be the single largest factor impacting on wellbeing in the area.

Despite improved employment levels generally, 66 per cent of people in deprived areas experienced stress over the last 12 months compared to just over 55 per cent in less deprived areas.

It also found that people with less stress were more likely to own private health insurance, be better educated and were less likely to be living with a person with a chronic illness or disability.

However, over half of households surveyed (54 per cent) included a person with a chronic illness. Better physical and mental health are both significantly associated with not living with a person with chronic illness.

One of the report authors Consultant Psychiatrist at TUH, Professor Brendan Kelly, says it is evident that despite several years of economic recovery, its benefits have yet to be felt in deprived areas of Tallaght.

“The economic recovery has done little to improve mental health here and this is taking its toll on those in greatest need,” he said.

“For example, it impacts two thirds of the population living in the deprived communities of Tallaght where people have less education, don’t own health insurance and are more likely to be living with the burden of a person with a chronic illness or disability.

“There is a clear case for strengthening community and hospital mental health services and for other social care interventions to address the very real challenges these most vulnerable communities endure in their everyday lives,” he added.

Of the households that were surveyed 52 per cent included at least one person who had used Tallaght University Hospital for tests or treatment over the past year.

The vast majority (86 per cent) were satisfied with the hospital compared to 74 per cent in 2014.

In their conclusions, the report authors say there is a compelling need for universal access to high quality mental health services in primary care (GP) and secondary care (hospital and specialist clinics) in all communities.

Meanwhile, over €330,000 in research grants were also announced as part of the annual Meath Foundation Symposium held at Tallaght University Hospital.

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