Irish Times | Paul Cullen

A survey of county councillors across the State has identified high levels of depression and stress among local politicians.

Almost half of those surveyed say they have experienced depression or anxiety, and almost 80 per cent feel their role as a councillor is impinging on family or personal life.

Two out of every three councillors report experiencing mental stress as a direct result of their political role, according to the research conducted by Fianna Fáil Senator and GP Dr Keith Swanwick.

The most common symptom reported by the 129 councillors who took part in the survey is sleep disturbance, experienced by 54 per cent. Almost half report low mood and 26 per cent anxiety.

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