What is mental well-being?
According to the World Health Organisation, Mental health is 'defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community'.
Irish people are notoriously bad at addressing mental health issues so it is unsurprising that we currently have the fourth highest rate of suicide and self-harm in Europe. With mental well-being being more openly discussed of late, as part of our 2016 health series we decided to talk to the nation to get their views on looking after their mental health.
How's it going Ireland?
Let's return back to our five groups to see who is most in tune with their mental well-being and what our plans as a nation are for looking after ourselves in 2016.
If you are interested in our findings and want to know more, pop your details in below and we will be in touch!
Our Active+ Foodies are the most in-tune with their mental well-being and making sure they are taking care of it. This group are not only the least likely to be smokers (10% less than average) but they are the most likely group to focus as much on their mental health as they do their physical health. They are 17% more likely to consider themselves 'very conscious' of their mental well-being than the total population.
This group are also most likely to have been actively looking after their mental well-being for some time by getting plenty of sleep each night, watching their alcohol intake, practicing stress management and relaxation techniques and making sure they are exercising and eating well.
4 in 10 inactive foodies are 'very conscious' of their mental well-being and two thirds are also currently trying to lose weight with the majority of them changing their diet to do so. Unsurprisingly, 4 in 10 inactive foodies are hoping to focus more on making sure they exercise more and eat well for 2016.
This cohort are also most likely to have been seeing a counsellor or therapist regularly. They also have the highest intention to continue or pursue this in 2016.
1 in 4 active non-foodies are smokers. This cohort are predominantly male, under 35 and living in Dublin. They are the least conscious of the groups we have looked at of their mental well-being scoring 32% points less than our Active+ Foodies.
When it comes to stress management or relaxation techniques two thirds of this group have never tried or have no intention of practicing these techniques. Their main avenue for looking after their mental well-being is through socializing or talking to friends or family however, they do intend on putting more focus into getting a better nights sleep in 2016 with almost 4 in 10 (37%) claiming they will.
As we know from Our Health 2016 report, this group are not very health conscious at all so it is unsurprising to see that they are the least likely group to be consciously looking after their mental well-being or planning on making it a priority for 2016.
They are however, the most likely to be prioritising socializing more for 2016.
Ignite's Step Progress
If you have been following this series of reports you will have seen that we (in Ignite) have been tracking our steps on a daily basis with a target of 10,000 steps a day for the full month of January - check out how we got on overall below;
Rural Ireland's Mental Well-being
During this piece of research we discovered that those living in rural areas of an older generation are more vulnerable to the stigma attached to looking after your mental well-being;
Those from a rural background are much less likely to be actively looking after their mental well-being with the highest percentages of those who don’t do or have no intention of doing anything to safeguard their mental well-being in the future. However, they are more likely to have been getting the basics right with regular exercise, eating well and getting plenty of sleep compared to younger cohorts.
Rural males aged 45+ are least likely to talk to friends or family in order to look after their mental well-being. This is unsurprising as suicides figures consistently rising with ten suicides on average each week and eight of them being men.
Mental Well-Being Habits for 2016
We asked the people of Ireland which mental well-being habits they intended on pursuing for 2016. Resters and Inactive foodies are both focusing on getting the basics right by prioritising getting plenty of sleep each night and making sure they exercise and eat well. They are also planning on using socialising and doing things with others as their main medium for keeping their mind healthy.
Active Foodies and Active+ Foodies are planning on keeping up what they have always done with no huge movements in any particular area.
If this report has made you more conscious of your mental well-being, why not take a few minutes out to calm you mind and centre your thoughts?