'Money worries' top list of concerns
Irish people were more worried about money this year than last, a new survey shows.
In the poll conducted for suicide prevention charity Samaritans, some 70 per cent of people put money and debt in their top five worries, a rise of 6 per cent on 2011.
In the seven-day poll of 1000 adults which was conducted by YouGov and completed the day of the Budget, people aged 35 to 44 expressed the greatest financial worry with 77 per cent of them saying money was the thing they were “most worried” about.
Women worried more about money than men the survey showed, with 73 per cent of women citing concerns about money versus 67 per cent of men.
Money worries were noticeably higher amongst those from lower socio-economic groups with 75 per cent of them saying they were worried about money versus 66 per cent of those in ABC1 category. At 81 per cent, semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers were the most worried about finances versus 62 per cent of professionals such as doctors and accountants.
Worries about family were up nine per cent on 2011. There was also a rise in the number of those concerned about their physical health which at 38 per cent was up six per cent on last year.
Asked how they dealt with their worries, 43 per cent of those with worries said they would talk about them. While 54 per cent of women said this, less than a third of men did so. Talking over a social drink was the choice of 29 per cent of people, while recreational drugs were the coping method of 13 per cent of 18 – 24 year olds.
More people in Northern Ireland rely on spiritual beliefs to deal with worry than in the Republic. Asked how they coped with worry, 22 per cent of those North of the border cited religion or spirituality versus four per cent fewer in the Republic. The UK average was nine per cent.
Samaritans chairperson Pio Fenton said in a society where middle aged men from disadvantaged groups were at a higher risk of suicide, it was a concern that less than a third of Irish men were choosing to talk about their problems.
“We’d like to remind people struggling to cope that Samaritans will continue to be there for anybody who needs somebody to listen to them.”