The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has published research examining the mental health status of the Northern Ireland population in employment, in particular, looking at differences in prevalence between occupations and industries.
Of the Northern Ireland population in employment, 8.6% had received prescription drugs related to anxiety and depression in each year 2010 to 2012. This is nearly three times the proportion self-reporting an emotional, psychological or mental health condition according to the 2011 Census (3.1%).
Personal service occupations had the highest proportion prescribed antidepressants, hypnotics or anxiolytics (12.9%); the lowest proportion (5.5%) was found in skilled trades occupations.
The highest proportions self-reporting an emotional, psychological or mental health condition (4.3%) were found in elementary, sales and customer services occupations; the lowest proportion (2.0%) was found in professional occupations.
Significant variations in the prevalence of poor mental health between different occupations and/or industries persist after accounting for socio-economic factors, such as age, sex and marital status. Sales and customer services occupations were 55% more likely to have self-reported an emotional, psychological or mental health condition, and 29% more likely to be prescribed antidepressants, hypnotics or anxiolytics, compared to professional occupations (reference category).
The research has been funded by the Economic & Social Research Council via ADR UK (Administrative Data Research UK) and taken forward by NISRA, who together with the Administrative Data Research Centre Northern Ireland (comprising the Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University), form the ADR Northern Ireland (ADR NI). NISRA September 2021.
Download a copy of the report here.