76% of people raise Covid-19's impact on mental health with counsellors 1 week ago

76% of people raise Covid-19's impact on mental health with counsellors

The findings were released ahead of World Mental Health Day.

New research has provided insight into the mental health impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy conducted the research in conjunction with Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A) to raise awareness of mental health issues, and to "mobilise efforts in support of mental health".

The survey found that 76% of counsellors say that their clients are "raising issues specifically related to the impact of Covid-19 on their mental health and day to day lives". Meanwhile, over 3 in 10 (31%) report that their clients are doing this "a great deal".

The findings were released to mark World Mental Health Day, which is 10 October. The theme of this year's World Mental Health Day is 'Breaking the Stigma'.

The principle issues relating to the mental health impact of the pandemic include anxiety (50%), isolation and loneliness (33%), relationships (24%) and employment/work (21%).

These insights follow on from a survey carried out earlier this year which found that 18% of adults felt lonely/isolated in 2020 compared to 4% of Irish adults in 2019.

In a statement, the IACP reflected on the findings.

They said: "The last 18 months has taken a major toll on people’s mental health on a worldwide scale, and it is now more important than ever to celebrate this day and to remind the public of the benefits of counselling and psychotherapy."

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The group's CEO Lisa Molloy said: "Mental health issues can happen to anybody at any moment in their lives and celebrating days like World Mental Health Day can really help to break down the stigma around mental wellbeing, and society’s mindset around the issue.

The organisation's chair, Bernie Hackett addressed the ways in which the pandemic specifically impacts mental health.

Hackett said: "Mental health issues can happen to anybody at any moment in their lives and celebrating days like World Mental Health Day can really help to break down the stigma around mental wellbeing, and society’s mindset around the issue."