State of Ireland's mental health: findings from a nationally representative survey

Philip Hyland, Frédérique Vallières, Mark Shevlin, Richard P Bentall, Sarah Butter, Todd K Hartman, Thanos Karatzias, Anton P Martinez, Orla McBride, Jamie Murphy, Robert Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS: Current information about the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the general adult population of the Republic of Ireland is lacking. In this study, we examined the prevalence of 12 common mental disorders, the proportion of adults who screened positive for any disorder, the sociodemographic factors associated with meeting criteria for a disorder and the associations between each disorder and history of attempted suicide.

METHODS: A non-probability nationally representative sample (N = 1110) of adults living in Ireland completed self-report measures of 12 mental health disorders. Effect sizes were calculated using odds ratios from logistic regression models, and population attributable risk fractions (PAFs) were estimated to quantify the associations between each disorder and attempted suicide.

RESULTS: Prevalence rates ranged from 15.0% (insomnia disorder) to 1.7% (histrionic personality disorder). Overall, 42.5% of the sample met criteria for a mental health disorder, and 11.1% had a lifetime history of attempted suicide. Younger age, being a shift worker and trauma exposure were independently associated with a higher likelihood of having a mental health disorder, while being in university was associated with a lower likelihood of having a disorder. ICD-11 complex posttraumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder and insomnia disorder had the highest PAFs for attempted suicide.

CONCLUSIONS: Mental health disorder prevalence in Ireland is relatively high compared to international estimates. The findings are discussed in relation to important mental health policy implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere47
Pages (from-to)e47
JournalEpidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Humans
  • Ireland/epidemiology
  • Mental Health
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders


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