What’s Going on in Ireland?


Ireland is having a mental health crisis. With stories scattered across different newspapers and reports it can be difficult to keep track of the full picture. Hopefully the following collection of facts will make it easier to grasp the general situation.

Nationwide (Republic)

Irish poverty World Bank graph

Source: World Bank


  • Carlow was above average for mortality for all ages due to alcohol related causes (Lenus The Irish Health Repository, 2017).
  • More than half of students say the housing crisis is affecting their education, mental health and social experience. 4 out of 5 had difficulty finding suitable accommodation on a budget. 7 in 10 face difficulty paying rent.
  • Carlow has some of the highest suicide rates in the country (National Office for Suicide Prevention).
  • The loss of a loved one before their time can have a huge impact. Deaths for all ages for cancer and respiratory disease and all deaths are higher in Carlow than the national average (Healthy Carlow County Plan 2018 - 2021).
  • "In 2016, a higher proportion of the total population of Carlow reported no formal or primary education, or having primary education only" (Healthy Carlow County Plan 2018 - 2021).



  • According to the Pavee Point report (Traveller Health Need Assessment: Clare, 2019), 46% of Travellers reported that they did not always feel like they were treated with dignity and respect when using health services. 92% reported substance misuse was a problem in the community; this includes prescription drugs and illicit substances. 12% of Travellers in Clare are homeless; those living in trailers identify lack
    of access to basic facilities, including lack of access to running water (71.5%) and flush toilets (71.5%).
  • 94% of workers reported that Clare CAMHS clinical environment are notsuitable for supporting young people. 100% of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that shortages of clinical space are putting children at risk (Clare Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services 2023). In 2022, Clare CAMH teams accepted 412 referrals but had only five rooms to carry out assessments and interventions. Each clinician can only offer a maximum of 1.59 hours (one hour and 35 minutes) per day.  88% of staff in a survey indicated they will be seeking alternative employment in the coming year. 94% reported poor or very poor morale.



  • Nearly 400 young people waiting for mental health supports (Donegal News 2023).
  • Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon referred tp the situation for mental health and disability in Donegal as a "profound violation of children's rights", especially in relation to number on waiting lists and length of time on waiting lists. This does not include those who do not go on waiting lists out of lack of hope in the system.


  • Highest sign up rates for mental health support at 27.9% (Turn2Me 2022).
  • About 400 people per month are injecting heroin in Dublin streets (Ana Liffey Drug Treatment Centre 2021). Nimbyism is sometimes stopping treatment support centres from being opened.
  • Average age of drug runners is now 12 years Blanchardstown Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force 2022) and the age of those not getting treatment is getting younger. Alcohol use, cocaine, and anti-anxiety tablets, ketamine, nitrous oxide, and ecstasy use have all increased.



  • numbers of children waiting for prolonged periods of time for an appointment have almost doubled since last September (Irish Examiner April 2023)
  • The Maskey Report found that 46 children who attended the Camhs centre in South Kerry suffered significant harm and 240 others had been exposed to the risk of significant harm (RTE 2023: Breaking News 2023).
  • Suicidal children are waiting more than 50 days on average to be seen by mental health services in Cork and Kerry. According to a report from CAMHS. the majority of psychiarty in South Kerry is conducted remotely from Doha. (Irish Examiner 2023).





  • Cllr Finola Armstrong McGuire highlighted that patients seeking mental health treatment are often having to be reassesses and re-examined every time they look for treatment leading to longer waiting times than normal (Leitrim Observer 2023).



  • Of the large towns in Ireland (population 10,000 and over), Longford (30.6%) had the highest unemployment rate (CSO 2023)
  • In 2016, the Tusla Midlands Region (Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath) had the
    highest instance of referrals to Tusla child and family agency services (CYPSC Longford Wetmeath Children and Young People’s Plan 2020- 2022).
  • List Item



Meath, Offaly, and Others.





  • Tipperary has one of the highest rates of deaths by suicide in the country (Tipperary Live 2022).





Recommended Reading

How to help

If the government (especially during a budget surplus) can't address these issues, then it's up to us as a community to get together and do something about it. Spread the word so people can make informed voting decisions. Encourage your friends to vote. Write to your TDs and Senators how you feel about these issues. You can find all their contact details here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/contact-us/ If they don't respond let others know on social media. Reach out to those who may not be on social media. Support local journalists if you can. They don't always have the legal budget to take on certain cases. If you're going to do a protest, try and arrange it to happen in the constituency of a politician who has relevant responsibilities instead of where the problem is. However, given that these types of problems have been happening for decades maybe Ireland needs to start a Mental Health Empowerment Party... just a thought.

This post has focused on some of the consequences of problems in society. You can find a list of problems in society, underlying causes, and possible solutions here: https://mentaldiy.com/list-of-problems-in-society/

This was not an exhaustive list, and it can difficult to source information on various topics. Let us know if you want anything else highlighted.

Author: David Tierney. Send tips or suggestions to info@mentaldiy.com