AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


AHEAD and W5 (2010) Survey on Mental Health and Employment

In early 2010, AHEAD (the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability) commissioned W5, an independent market research company, to conduct research on their behalf. The objective of this research was to establish a broad overview of attitudes towards, and perceptions of, mental health and employment through an online survey of 300 anonymous members of the public. The following represent some of the primary statistics emanating from the survey;

  • Just under one third of respondents (32%) reported being unsatisfied with the balance between their work and social life.
  • 56% stated that their job was either somewhat or very stressful.
  • When asked ‘How do you think your employer would react if you said that you were stressed?’ the slight majority (36%) predicted an unsympathetic response. 34% predicted a sympathetic reaction.
  • When asked ‘How do you think your employer would react if you said that you had a mental health issue?’ the unsympathetic figure decreases to 29% whereas the sympathetic predictions rise to 44%.
  • 69% of survey respondents noted that their employer does not have any guidelines/policies in relation workplace stress.
  • 78% think there is a stigma associated with discussing mental health issues in the workplace.
  • Nearly half (45%) of respondents are aware of a colleague that has experienced a mental health issue.
  • 63% stated that they would not tell their employer if they were experiencing a mental health issue.
  • Just over half (51%) considered depression a disability. Whereas 60% considered dyslexia a disability and 68% considered epilepsy a disability.
  • The survey asked whether we do ‘too much’, ‘just enough’ or ‘too little’ for people with disabilities in Ireland. 74% stated ‘too little’.
  • Over one third (35%) of respondents would not employ someone with a mental health issue. Whereas only 10% stated that they would not employ someone with a physical impairment.
  • When asked ‘What is more important to you – physical or mental health?’80% stated that both are equally important.

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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182