Irish employees least likely to speak to employers about mental health, global survey finds.

Moira Grassick - Chief Operating Officer

June 18 2024

A recent global survey reveals a 31% surge in employees discussing mental health issues in 2024 compared to 2023, driven by increasing cost-of-living pressures, demanding work environments, and ongoing global conflicts. The world is waking up to mental health, but where does Ireland stand?

86% increase in Mental Health first aiders in Irish businesses

Year on year our Global survey shows that Irish businesses are taking measures to help the mental health of their employees. For example we saw a 86% increase in the implementation of mental health first aiders in Irish businesses.

But is this enough to support the mental health of Irish employees?

Irish employees least likely to speak to employers about mental health

Despite the commendable introduction of mental health first aiders into Irish workplaces in the last year, it appears that it has had little effect in drawing out the stress of Irish staff, as the majority of Irish employers report 'No increase' in the number of people experiencing issues with mental health in their workplace. 

One could argue that maybe the reason there have been no mental health conversation is because there are no more mental health issues and yet not just Irish employers, but employers all around the world, in our global survey reported little decrease in mental health issues.

Is it possible Ireland needs to change the way it manages mental health in the workplace? 

Are Irish employers confident their staff would disclose mental health issues?

Globally speaking Irish employers were among the least confident that their employees would disclose a mental health issue. 

Perhaps this speaks to the potential societal barriers surrounding discussing mental health in the workplace and that support in other forms is a more effective way to help employees maintain good mental health. Like providing mental health days for example...

irish employers confident their staff would disclose a mental health issue

Time off for a Mental Health Break

Canadian employers are three times more likely to take time off for mental health than their Irish counterparts, with a 52% increase observed. Furthermore Canadian employers are five times more likely to offer their employees mental health days than Irish employers. In fact business owners in Ireland led the global surveyed pack in stating that they did not offer this kind of entitlement to their staff. This disparity suggests a need for Irish employers to adopt a more understanding and supportive stance on mental health.

The proactive approach in Canada indicates a broader cultural acceptance and understanding of mental health needs. Can Ireland learn from this and foster a more supportive environment for employees?

time off for mental health break

Canada's Leadership in Workplace Mental Health

Canada excels in multiple areas related to workplace mental health, including work-life balance, time off, support measures, and open discussions. This comprehensive stance sets a global standard.

Ireland's more hesitant approach stands in stark contrast. Embracing similar initiatives could help Irish employers support their workforce more effectively and improve overall well-being.

This blog post highlights critical differences in how countries address mental health in the workplace, urging Irish employers to reassess and improve their support systems to align with global best practices.


From 13-20 May 2024, Peninsula Group asked all global clients to complete a survey answering multiple choice questions related to mental health in the workplace. The results were gathered by individual country, namely Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom, and then collated to identify global trends as well as those in each individual country.

The 2024 results were then compared to the 2023 results, giving Peninsula Group the ability to track changes year on year. This is the second year that the survey has run, with the same questions being asked each time.


1. Healthy Ireland Workplace Wellbeing

2. UK Mental Health Foundation Report 2023

3. Australian Psychological Society Data 2024

4. Canadian Mental Health Association Report 2024

5. Economic Factors and Mental Health: A Global Perspective 2024

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