September 17, 2010

Eating Disorders

Teens tackle eating disorders
Irish Examiner (Thurs, 16 September 2010)
An effective education campaign is critical to reduce the incidence of eating disorders. It’s a grey Saturday in Dublin, but spirits are high at a get-together of the Bodywhys Youth Panel, a group established recently by the eating disorders support group to canvass teen opinion on anorexia and body image, and to get input from young people on how these sensitive issues should be broached with secondary school students.

Startling numbers of children affected
Irish Examiner (Wed, 15 September 2010)
IT'S startling to learn that increasing numbers of young Irish people present with an eating disorder at the age of 10 or 11. Children as young as six have also been affected. Professor Fiona McNicholas, Ireland's leading expert on eating disorders in children and teens, is cautious on the reasons for the increased numbers and says the rise may be due to parents recognising problems earlier or approaching specialist services, whereas before they may only have gone to a GP.

A matter of life and death
Irish Examiner (Wed, 15 September 2010)
Upwards of 200,000 Irish people are affected by conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, while treatment and research facilities are seriously underfunded. Despite the surprisingly high incidence of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder in Ireland, there is a startling lack of treatment facilities, with the public system and support organisations worryingly under-resourced.


Mental Health

Gay Byrne calls on older Irish people to look after their mental health
Medical Independent (Thurs, 16 September 2010)
Broadcaster Gay Byrne was on hand recently to launch the new 'Mind Yourself – Depression in Later Life' campaign to raise awareness of depression and the importance of mental health in later life. The campaign, by Lundbeck (Ireland) Ltd and supported by Age and Opportunity, is targeting older people who may be reluctant to talk to their doctors about their mental health. "Depression can affect people at any age.

Public meetings to tackle issue of suicide
Irish Times (Tue, 14 September 2010)
A series of town hall-style meetings is due to begin this evening as part of a campaign to help tackle the growing rate of suicide and change attitudes towards mental ill-health.  Organised by the anti-stigma campaign, See Change, these public meetings will include contributions from experts on mental health, local service providers and Minister of State with responsibility for mental health John Moloney. The first of 34 public meetings is due to take place in Ennis, Co Clare, this evening.

Zippy's Friends – training for primary school teachers in Mayo
Connaught Telegraph (Tue, 14 September 2010)
Zippy's Friends, the first dedicated mental health promotion programme targeting five to seven year olds has been successfully piloted in 40 primary schools in the west by the HSE and the Department of Education. The programme teaches young children how to develop skills to cope with problems that may occur in adolescence and adulthood. Pupils learn how to cope with everyday difficulties, to identity and talk about their feelings and to explore ways of dealing with them.

Community tackles mental health issues
Evening Echo (Tue, 14 September 2010)
Last Thursday, the Deputy County Cork Mayor, Cllr John O'Sullivan, launched the Glanmire Mental Health Awareness Week and the Glanmire Crisis Support Directory. It was organised by the Glanmire Suicide Aware Forum SAFE, and was attended by Ted Dinan, Professor of Psychiatry at Cork University Hospital, and Liam Doocey of Youth Health Services on Shandon Street. Cllr O'Sullivan told the large attendance of how important it was that our community was proactive in addressing mental health by providing in- formation, training and education.

Mental Health Service

Cabinet to get mental hospital plan within months
Irish Times (Fri, 17 September 2010)
Proposals for a new central mental hospital should be brought to the Cabinet in the next two months, Minister of State for Mental Health, John Moloney, said. The next step would be to seek funding under a public-private partnership, he added.

Mental health services funds warning
Irish Examiner (Thurs, 16 September 2010)
It is impossible to implement the Government's plan to reform mental health services without more staff and further investment, the HSE's mental health boss has admitted. Speaking ahead of a conference on the future of mental health services, assistant national director for mental health at the HSE Martin Rogan said "the cavalry" — 1,800 promised additional staff under a Vision for Change — had never materialised.

500 children waiting more than a year to access care
Irish Examiner (Thurs, 16 September 2010)
Almost 2,800 young people are on a waiting list for child and adolescent mental health services, HSE figures have shown. Almost 500 children under 18 have been waiting for more than one year to access services. More than 600 have been waiting for between six months and one year, 615 for three to six months and 1,079 for less than three months. Assistant Na
tional Director for Mental Health at the HSE Martin Rogan said it was policy to get an initial appointment for 70% of new cases within three months, and this target was at 68%.

Hospital's new medical block due to open in April
Donegal on Sunday (Sunday, 12 September 2010)
Letterkenny General Hospital's new medical block which will include a new emergency department is expected to be in use by April of next year. Construction work on the 22.5m four-storey extension is due to be completed before the end of the year with the units expected to be ready for occupation by March or April, the HSE has said. The 6,600 square metre building will also house a medical assessment unit on the ground floor

HSE admits land sale 'won't make €50m'
Irish Independent (Sat, 11 September 2010)
The sale of psychiatric lands and hospitals will not generate the €50m announced six months ago, the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted yesterday. The promise was that the properties would be sold off and the expected €50m would go towards modernising mental health facilities and so allow the closure of old Victorian psychiatric hospitals, which inspectors have condemned.

Mental Illness

Depression and heart disease a deadly mix
Irish Independent (Thurs, 16 September 2010)
The combination of depression and heart disease is more deadly than either factor alone, researchers said yesterday. Experts writing in the journal ‘Heart’ have concluded that the risks of a person dying from a heart attack or stroke are higher if a person is both depressed and suffers from heart disease.

Remember, dads can get baby blues too
Irish Times (Tue, 14 September 2010)
That the risk of depression goes up in the year following the birth of a baby is accepted in the case of mothers, but less so in that of fathers. Now a study by Britain's Medical Research Council and University College London has quantified that risk. Looking at the first 12 years of a child's life, the researchers found that one father in 37 suffered depression during that period. For mothers the rate was one in 13, so the exposure to depression continues to be far greater for women. The highest risk was in the first year after the child was born. Then, one in 28 fathers and one in seven mothers experienced depression. 



20 people a month in Wexford seek self-harm help
Irish Examiner (Wed, 15 September 2010)
AS many as 20 people a month are seeking to access a HSE-funded, self-harm intervention programme in Co Wexford. The Self Harm Intervention Programme (SHIP) has a caseload of about 20 people at any one time for 12 sessions, and has been operating since it began on a pilot basis in 2004.

One-in-10 teens has self-harmed due to 'emotional turmoil'
Irish Independent (Sat, 11 September 2010)
ONE-IN-10 teenagers may have attempted self-harm because of emotional turmoil, a psychiatrist warned yesterday. Some self-harm to numb their feelings or relieve tension but others will have suicidal intent, said Dr Fiona McNicholas, a psychiatrist at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin. She was speaking at a conference to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.