Northern Ireland

Mental health

Key points

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Graph 1: By gender and work status

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Graph 2: Affected by the Troubles

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Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the proportion of working-age adults who are classified as being at high risk of developing a mental illness, with the data shown separately for three groups of people: currently employed, currently unemployed, and long-term sick or disabled.  Data for other work economic statuses. e.g. retired, family care and students, is not shown.  In each case, the data is also shown separately for men and women.

The risk of developing a mental illness is assessed by asking informants a number of questions about general levels of happiness, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance over the previous four weeks, which are designed to detect possible psychiatric morbidity.  A score is constructed from the responses, and the figures published show those with a score of 4 or more.  This is referred to as a 'high GHQ12 score'.

The data source for the first graph is the British Household Panel Survey.  To its improve statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest five years.

The second graph shows the proportion of adults who self-reported that they were either personally injured during the Troubles or had a close friend or relative killed or injured. 

The data source for the second graph is a once-off survey entitled Poverty and Social Exclusion in Northern Ireland, 2002/03 (the dataset for which is no longer publicly available).

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The graphs do not measure mental ill-health directly.

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External links

See the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety's site on health inequalities.

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