Irish psychiatric units and hospitals census 2006 bulletin


The psychiatric units and hospitals census was carried out on 31 March 2006. The overall statistics revealed that:

  • Males accounted for more than half (55%) of all residents on census night.
  • Two thirds of patients on census night were single, 18% were married, 7% were widowed and 1% were divorced. Rates of hospitalisation were highest for single males (six times higher than for married males).
  • Twenty-two percent of residents were involuntary, a figure that is likely to have fallen following the commencement of part three of the Mental Health Act, 2001 on 1 November 2006.
  • Almost half (46%) of patients were long stay (i.e. had been in hospital for one or more years); 29% had been hospitalised for five years or more and 47% of those hospitalised for over five years were aged 65 years or over
  • The 75 years and over group had the highest rate of hospitalisation, followed by the 65 -74 year old group.
  • One third of all residents had schizophrenia, 15% had a depressive disorder, 8% were diagnosed with mania and 7% each had an organic mental disorder or an intellectual disability.
  • The highest rates of hospitalisation were in the HSE South followed by HSE Dublin North-East, HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster and HSE West.
  • Psychiatric hospitalisation rates in Ireland were similar to rates elsewhere in Western Europe.