Research released by See Change ahead of the Green Ribbon campaign shows that people in Connacht and the Republic counties of Ulster are the most likely to seek professional help if they had a mental health difficulty compared to other provinces.
90 % of people surveyed in Connacht and Ulster said they would seek help if they were experiencing problems with their mental health, this is 9% above the national average of 81%.
However, more worrying is the fact that 42% of those surveyed living in Connacht and the ROI counties in Ulster said they would conceal a mental health difficulty from family, friends and colleagues. This is 4% more than the national average of 38%.
People in Connacht and Ulster (ROI) were also the more likely to delay seeking treatment for a mental health problem out of fear of letting others know when compared to the national average.
16% of respondents in Connacht and Ulster said they would delay help seeking due to the risk of other people finding out. This is 2% higher than the national average of 14%.
The research was conducted by Kantar Millward Brown as part of a nationally representative omnibus survey of 977 people for the Green Ribbon campaign and was funded by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.
The Green Ribbon campaign aims to change minds about mental health by prompting hundreds of events and thousands of conversations all over Ireland during the month of May each year.
Between now and the end of May 500,000 ribbons will be distributed to communities, workplaces, schools and colleges all over Ireland to encourage people to talk about mental health.
Speaking about the campaign, CEO of See Change, John Saunders says, “There’s no health without mental health, so it’s very important that we all play our part to end the silence around mental health issues”.
He continues, “You don’t need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is let someone know you are there for them and simply listen.”
Green Ribbons will be available at major Irish Rail stations, libraries and Boots Stores across Connacht and Ulster. Visit www.greenribbon.ie for more details or to order free ribbons and to find out about events near you.