Republic of Ireland Research Summary
The research was carried out to gain insights into the issues that trouble people and what they do when they are going through a difficult time.
A sample of 313 adults aged 16+ completed an online survey from 27 May to 2 June 2015. The research was conducted for Samaritans by Lightspeed GMI.
What issues are bothering people?
Participants were asked which things had bothered them the most in the last 12 months. The top five in order were:
- Relationships (45.7%)
- A big life event (45%)
- Income (41.5%)
- Family arguments (38.7%)
- Physical health (35.8%)
Work (35.1%), home life (32.9%), mental health (29.7%) and social life (25.2%) also scored highly.
What do people do when something is bothering them?
When asked what they do when something is bothering them, more than 1 in 6 (17.3%) of people said they bottle it up or keep it to themselves and 1 in 8 (12.5%) avoid people and spend time alone. Those aged 16-24 were most likely to bottle things up (37%) or spend time alone (22.2%). More than a third of people (36.1%) say they will talk to a partner and 29.4% will talk to friend while 17.9 % will do something they enjoy like reading a book.
Talking about problems
When asked what issues are the hardest to talk about nearly 4 out of 10 (38.7%) said big life events were the hardest thing to talk about, nearly a third (32.3%) said family arguments, 30.7% said home life and another 30% said work.
When it comes to talking about their problems, 4 in 10 (40.9%) said they don’t like to burden other people with their problems and over a quarter (26.5%) said they don’t feel they can talk to other people about their problems. Women (45.2%) were more likely to say they don’t like to burden other people with their problems than men (33.3%).
For those who do share, the person they are most likely to go to is a partner (36.1%) or a friend (29.4%)
38.3% of people believe that a problem shared is a problem halved and one third (33.5%) said that when they talk about their problems they feel better. 1 in 5 people (20.1%) felt that talking about their problems was embarrassing and 12.1% felt that talking about their problems feels weak.
Nearly 6 in 10 people (58.8%) agreed that it is possible to feel lonely even with people around them.
More than three-quarters (75.1%) of people said that they are a good listener with 47.6% saying that people come to them with problems. Younger people aged 16-24 are the most likely to feel that they are good listeners (85.2%). 1 in 5 people (20.1%) want to be better at listening to people’s problems. Women were more likely to say that people come to them with their problems (56.3%) than men (32.5%).