A survey of women in County Roscommon has found that 25 per cent of them are feeling isolated and depressed as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
One-fifth of respondents listed being away from their partner or family as the most difficult aspect of this period, while homeschooling was most prevalent in the minds of 14 per cent of the women surveyed.
More than half (57 per cent) of respondents said they were doing more household chores, since the coronavirus arrived, while 42 per cent had more childcare responsibilities.
The majority of respondents have not seen an increase in arguments with their family or partners since Covid-19, but 53 per cent do feel more disconnected from family and 75 per cent feel disconnected from friends.
The survey was conducted by Roscommon Women’s Network and while the study sample was relatively small (147 respondents), project manager Nora Fahy believes it gives an insight into how women throughout the county are coping during the pandemic.
“Mental health, wellbeing and social inclusion are the biggest factors that we would have heard about from women we have spoken with throughout the pandemic,” she said.
Nora added that while funding is available for more digital infrastructure, the women using RWN need face-to-face engagement.
“Many of the people we work with would be people who would already feel excluded or isolated in some way, even before the pandemic,” she said.
She said the survey evidences the “great support” being provided by Government for people to work and socialise from home, but that there remains a need for in-person work.
“If this pandemic is going to go on for six more months these women need human contact,” she said.
“We would like to get funding to hire a bigger space so the women could social distance… This survey has rubber stamped our understanding that human contact is needed,” she said.