New report reveals high levels of stress in Tallaght

A major new report into households in Tallaght has found over two thirds are feeling stressed due to finances, family issues, illness and unemployment.

The Health Assets and Needs Assessment (HANA) studied 343 households in the community, which equated to almost 1,082 people, and found that 67% of primary household carers have visited a GP due to stress. This figure has risen 8% from the 59% recorded in a similar study in 2001.

The study was carried out by the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin, and funded by the Adelaide Health Foundation and Tallaght Hospital. The findings provide an insight into the extra psychological pressure that many members of the community are suffering due to years of living with austerity.

Dr Catherine Darker, who is the main author of the report, said a need to invest in psychology, addiction and GP services was identified by people who took part in the survey: “Respondents indicated that they have a positive relationship with their GP, with 90% stating that they would recommend their GP to a friend or family member,” she said.

One-quarter of Tallaght residents however are dissatisfied with the care provided by the local hospital waiting times and the speed of care provided in the hospital were the main reasons for people’s dissatisfaction, as per the study.

However, 84 per cent said they would recommend the hospital to a friend and 74 per cent were satisfied with the care they received. One in 10 people were on a waiting list for treatment at the hospital and one-third of these had been waiting for over 13 months. 61% felt the length of time they were waiting to be very unreasonable.

Almost half of those surveyed had used the hospital’s emergency department in the previous year, and 54 per cent were satisfied with the care they received. The main reasons for dissatisfaction were long waiting times, slow speed of care and “a lack of cleanliness”.

“Amenities, such as the local shopping centre and also public services, like parks and recreational facilities, is a good thing about Tallaght.”

Dr Darker said they also asked people about what they did and didn’t like about their area: “Amenities, such as the local shopping centre and also public services, like parks and recreational facilities, is a good thing about Tallaght,” she said. “Alongside a strong community spirit and good neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, in the top three bad things about Tallaght, a lack of amenities for young people were mentioned and also petty crime such as thefts, burglaries and anti-social behaviour like gang activity.”

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Padraig Conlon
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